The rise of Christian power coincides with the division of the Caliphate of Córdoba into kingdoms of taifa. It would take too much space to indicate even the characteristics of the various artistic centers that arise: Zaragoza with its Aljaferia, Málaga with its Alcazaba, Seville with the very graceful tower of the Giralda, etc. In the century 14th Muslim art, in decline in vigor and originality, was more robust than ever in decorative splendor, and the wonders of Granada (Alhambra and Generalife) and the Alcázar of Seville are still today unparalleled examples of imagination and refinement of the Moors of Spain. The influence of this decadent and beautiful art was not limited to the already Christian Andalusia, such as Seville, Cadiz and Jaen, but also penetrated into Castile, especially in the construction of palaces for the nobility (Toledo, Tordesillas, Salamanca, etc.).
It is modern. – Art before the introduction of the Italian Renaissance (1473 – 1491). – If we wanted to indicate a date to fix the beginning of the modern age in Spain, we could not mark anything other than that of the year 1472, in which the Catholic kings Fernando of Aragon and Isabella of Castile were proclaimed. During their reign national unity was achieved, the unity of the Iberian peninsula was achieved – which turned out to be ephemeral -, the disappearance of Muslim domination was achieved and America was discovered; Italian forms began to penetrate into art, which then had to spread more and more.
Before the full introduction of the Italian Renaissance, the architecture followed a style that participates in the flowery Gothic (which before the mid-fifteenth century in Burgos and Pamplona, in Valenza and Palma had left very rich examples) and in Moorish motifs and techniques. It is the “Isabella” style, as Bertaux baptized it, in which Spain Giovanni de los Reyes in Toledo were built, the Infantado palace in Guadalajara, the Real de Manzanares castle (Madrid), the college of Spain Gregorio in Valladolid, etc., with this particularity, that among the masters of this style there are also some foreigners, such as Jean Guas of Lyon.
According to JUSTINSHOES, in painting the Flemish influence becomes little less than exclusive under the Catholic kings. When they began to govern, Fernando Gallego, who had been painting in Zamora since before 1467 was the artist who most successfully represented this trend in Castile. Isabella was drawn to Flemish paintings (her father John II and her brother Henry IV had already bought some) and came to possess them in large quantities; of these there are still more than 50 in Granada and Madrid. Of the four painters who appear to have been in his service, two were Flemish: Giovanni di Fiandra and Michele Sitium, authors of the Polyptych of the Queen (of which fifteen panels are preserved in the palace of Madrid), and the first of them, moreover, author of the altar of the cathedral of Palencia, etc. In reverse,
We must go forward in the reign of the great monarchs to find the dominant Italian influence.
Four great contemporary painters embodied this moment, variously blending Flemish and Italian elements: Rodrigo di Osona, who paints in Valenza in 1476, Bartolomé Bermejo, from Cordoba, who paints in Aragon (1474) and in Catalonia, Alejo Fernández, who works mainly in Seville, and Pedro Berruguete (v.), Castilian, who certainly intervened with Giusto of Ghent in the execution of the series of portraits of scholars and allegories of the liberal arts for the study of the palace of Urbino, and then, returned in Spain, he painted in Toledo, Ávila, etc. Regarding the first, whose known work is scarce, the part that Paolo di San Leocadio and Francesco Pagano who worked in Valenza since 1472 could have in his Italianism has not yet been ascertained. The second, which is the most vigorous of the Spanish primitives, he combines Flemish skill with harsh Spanish realism and a somewhat archaic taste for wrought golds. In the third the notes of Italianism are clearer, and combined with greater sweetness and gentleness, with a more modern feeling of color. Finally Pedro Berruguete is the most brilliant and complete in his compositions, in his strong personality, in his robust complexion, which in some paintings he obtains with the use of silver backgrounds. To these four, and perhaps as their equal, should be added the mysterious master Alfonso, author of the admirable panel of Finally Pedro Berruguete is the most brilliant and complete in his compositions, in his strong personality, in his robust complexion, which in some paintings he obtains with the use of silver backgrounds. To these four, and perhaps as their equal, should be added the mysterious master Alfonso, author of the admirable panel of Finally Pedro Berruguete is the most brilliant and complete in his compositions, in his strong personality, in his robust complexion, which in some paintings he obtains with the use of silver backgrounds. To these four, and perhaps as their equal, should be added the mysterious master Alfonso, author of the admirable panel of Martyrdom of San Medin, coming from San Cugat del Vallés and now kept in the museum of Barcelona, but only this work is known of such a strong personality.
Catalan painting in the last decades of the century. XV counts masters such as Jaime Huguet (v.) And like the Vergós, an artist, the first, of exquisite sensitivity, artists, the second, of somewhat forced energy, who did not know how to accept the new progressive norms, adhered to the taste for gold abundant and for the plaster reliefs that give the paintings more sumptuousness than beauty, and contributed with their archaism, perhaps decisively, to ensuring that the Catalan painting of the following centuries did not reach the level it had reached since the century. XII.
For his unjustified celebrity, we must mention the painter Rincón in whom the treatise writers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries summarized all the change in Spanish painting in the early Renaissance: his name was Fernando and not Antonio, as was believed, and his works reveal him to be a mediocre artist.