Spain Arts in the 17th-18th Century

By | January 11, 2022

Art in the second half of the centuryXVII. – Philip IV was succeeded by his son Charles II, who defended the royal collections, opposing the sending of Palatine paintings to the emperor who insisted on them.

Carreño, a wonderful portraitist known as “the Spanish Van Dyck”, Francisco Ricci, an easy painter, Francisco de Herrera the Younger, a talented decorator and colorist, and Claudio Coello are the best painters of the court. They are Baroque, fond of manners reminiscent of both Italy and Flanders, but with an eminently Spanish panache, and when faced with the natural they feel realistic, a little less distinctly than those of the previous generation.

Outside the court, the center of Valenza dragged a languid life into the hands of the followers of Ribera and Espinosa; Seville, on the other hand, retained its splendor: the names of Murillo and Valdes Leal deserve great consideration. The Baroque of Sevillian painting descends in a straight line from the Venetianism of Roelas, from the stormy vigor of Herrera the Elder; to this were added the teachings collected by Murillo when he visited the royal collections in Madrid and the abundance of Flemish paintings entering Andalusia.

According to RRRJEWELRY, Charles II in 1692 called the Neapolitan Luca Giordano to the Escoriale, in Madrid, etc. When the Jordan left Spain in 1702, Spanish painting lay in the utmost prostration.

Sculpture, especially in Andalusia, followed the school of Alonso Cano in Granata, reaching the height of expressive and emotional notes in the works of Pedro de Mena and José de Mora; in Seville Pedro Roldan in his great altar of Charity brings to the maximum the pictorial value of Baroque sculpture.

Architecture proceeds along the baroque route, and in Seville, Granada, Santiago de Compostela, Salamanca, Valencia, Zaragoza and Madrid, typical nuclei are formed which cannot properly be called schools. The name of Churriguera that brought various artists, of which the main one was José, has become the name of the architecture of the end of the century. XVII and the principle of the following. The importance of the sculptures of the great Baroque altars of Madrid and Andalusia at the time of Philip IV has not been sufficiently emphasized in the formation of the ciurrigheresco style, full of exuberance and decorative value.

Spanish art in the centuryXVIII. – The death of the unfortunate Charles II, which took place without succession (1700), brought Philip V, a Bourbon nephew of Louis XIV, to Spain. The change of dynasty, which coincided with the eclipse of the power and vitality of the nation, had manifest consequences in Spanish art. Philip V brought French painters to his service: Michel-Ange Houasse, Jean Ranc, Louis-Michel Van Loo, portrait painters who imported a very different style into the Castilian court. The same can be said of the architects and sculptors for royal buildings, such as the Granja di Spain Ildefonso, Riofrío, etc.

With the loss of Flanders, which in the past had had the privilege of providing the crown with tapestries, Philip V founded the Royal factory in Madrid with foreign elements. On Christmas night in 1734, a fire destroyed the Royal Palace. The construction of the new palace marked an artistic renewal.

Churrigueresque architecture continued to dominate in the buildings, and Pedro de Ribera in Madrid, Hurtado Izquierdo in Granata, Casas Novoa in Compostela, etc., were artists of vigorous personality. Traditional sculpture sprouted again with the weaknesses and the pleasantness of the epochs of decadence in the terracottas of Roldana and above all in the statues of Murciano Salcillo (1703-1748). Palomino’s painting with the more erudite than inspired work filled ceilings and vaults or unnecessarily prolonged the agony of Murillo’s manner in Andalusia.

The arrival of the architect Filippo Juvara to trace the plans for the new building – which Giovanni Battista Sacchetti and Ventura Rodríguez had to build reducing the grandiose dimensions designed by Juvara – marks the beginning of the new artistic phase.

Fernando VI, during his reign of excellent administration and economic well-being, continued the works on the palace; his wife, Donna Barbara of Braganza, built the buildings of the Royal Salesas in Madrid at great expense and by means of foreign artists. Giacomo Amigoni and Corrado Giaquinto were called from Italy to serve the king. But more under the reign of Charles III (1759-88) the arts acquired new splendor and new elements were added, which had to contribute to the renaissance of painting represented by Goya.

Charles III called Giambattista Tiepolo and Antonio Raffaele Mengs to Spain to paint the ceilings of the building that was being built, and both (the already old Tiepolo was helped by his sons Lorenzo and Gian Domenico) left masterful works; nor were they limited only to frescoes, but Tiepolo painted pictures of religious subjects and Mengs magnificent portraits. The teachings of both were not in vain. Mengs carried in large part the weight of the artistic direction, respected by all or at least not discussed; on behalf of the king he also took care of the designs for the tapestries to be carried out in the royal factory in Madrid, and there he found an Aragonese painter, called Francisco Bayeu, who was a fellow citizen, teacher and brother-in-law of Francisco Goya.

Academic neoclassicism had three great architects in Spain: Ventura Rodríguez, already mentioned, of still baroque tendencies, (Liria palace in Madrid, Pilar chapel, 1753, in Zaragoza, Spain Vittoria church in Cordova, etc.), Francisco Sabatini (Alcalá Gate in Madrid, etc.) and, above all, Juan de Villanueva, to whom we owe, among other things, the Prado museum.

The sculpture is affected by the coldness that was a general evil of the art of the time: Manuel Álvarez, called “the Greek” (Fountain of Apollo in Madrid) and Felipe de Castro distinguished themselves. Traces of the tradition of religious statuary can be observed in the works of Luis Salvador Carmona and the Galician Ferreiro.

The painting takes two different directions according to the works and orders for the real places: the decorative, with the works of Tiepolo and Mengs, and the costume painting with the adaptation at the time of scenes in the “Teniers and Wouwerman “from which he took inspiration in the first period of activity of the Madrid tapestry factory. The fact that Mengs took the initiative in this translation to current events is somewhat surprising. Various artists began to paint popular scenes in Madrid for that factory, including Goya brilliantly.

Goya, who studied Velázquez with the attention revealed by his engravings, who knew the royal collections, who was influenced by Tiepolo and Mengs, who was in Italy, etc., joins art to the artistic tradition new. (For his long life, for his multifaceted production, for his technical divinations, for the inexhaustible content of the influence emanating from him, see particularly the Goya voice).

The industrial arts in Spain had followed their national types and procedures: so had been the case with ceramics in Talavera, Seville, Valencia, etc. The impulse of a foreign or, if you like, European type induced the Count de Aranda to set up the Alcora factory based on Moustier models, and Charles III to found the Buen Retiro porcelain factory (Madrid); both institutions, which attained a true splendor, were ephemeral and had a brief influence on the other manufactures.

Spain Arts in the 17th-18th Century