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Fri, Feb 26


Online Webinar

Course: More than Picasso: Spanish Art, 5 weeks

A 5 weeks course covering, in chronological order, all the greats from the 700 year Islamic rule to modernity! See more detail below. (Please note that the individual weeks will also be listed as stand alone lectures, for more information check the separate listings.)

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Course: More than Picasso: Spanish Art, 5 weeks
Course: More than Picasso: Spanish Art, 5 weeks

Time & Location

Feb 26, 2021, 11:00 AM GMT

Online Webinar


About the Event

Please note this is a 5 week course, taking place on Fridays 11.00-12.00 (UK time)

26/2/21: The Beginnings, the Rise of Catholic Power -  Conquest - Bermejo, Juan de Flandes, Sittow, Titian

In this talk we will briefly look at "Moorish" Spain and some of the glorious buildings and objects created through the 700 year Islamic rule.  The Reconquista saw the gradual reclamation of land to the Christians, gaining absolute triumph in 1492 with Isabella and Ferdinand's victory over Granada and the expulsion or forced conversion of non-Christians.  Art produced in the 15th century by Spanish artists blends fierce images of conquest with precise Netherlandish techniques of oil paint and the gold ground background to glorify the power of the church.  Bermejo, painting in this style in the  15th century, was (probably) on the run from the newly formed Spanish Inquisition and the glimpses of his life story reflect reality for many citizens.  We will also look at Isabella's court painters, itinerant Netherlandish artists, who skill in portraiture allow us a glimpse of the early 16th century court and the art created by Titian for Charles V, celebrating the Hapsburg dynasty.

5/3/21: The Church Triumphant - Drama -El Greco, Zurbaran, Ribera, Sanchez-Cotan and Fernadez

The building of the Escorial and numerous church institutions in the 16th and 17th century provided significant opportunities for artists.  The forced conversions, expulsions and the Inquisition carried out in the name of the Catholic Church required powerful religious images highlighting the suffering of Christ and His martyrs.    Zurburan and Ribera, use dramatic chiaroscuro lighting and startling compositions to produce  searing images whilst the  polychromed sculpture of Gregorio Fernandez, eerily accurate, are still venerated as holy objects today.  The still-lives of Sanchez-Cotan  are dramatically lit allegories of Christian piety whilst El Greco's narrative scenes and portraits flicker with spirituality.

12/3/21: Beauty - Murillo and Velázquez

Seville, an important trading centre flourished as a centre of the arts.   Murillo combined techniques from Italy and Flanders to create softer religious images in shades of pinks, blues and browns, of the Holy Family replacing drama with domesticity.  His genre scenes of contemporary woman and children were influential and much admired.  However the superstar painter from Seville is Velázquez whose remarkable talent was spotted early, elevating him to court artist and enjoying an intimate friendship with Philip IV.  His subject matter, technique and composition broke conventions and he is recognised today as one of the most influential artists ever.  Until the 19th century Murillo was awarded this honour.

19/3/21: Suffering - Goya & Sunshine - Sorolla

As court painter to Charles IV Goya's dislike of court members is hardly hidden in his portraits.  Equally his approval shines through the canvas when he paints someone he respects.  Napoleon's brutal campaign in Spain is captured in the visceral Third of May, 1808 when Goya converts gallant soldiers to faceless killing machines executing random and bewildered citizens.  A supreme print-maker, Goya's series of prints are uncomfortable documents of war whilst his Black Paintings reflect his delicate and declining mental health and despair with Spanish politics

The 19th century saw an interest in the re-interpretation of Spanish history through art.  Using the loser strokes of the French Romantic painters Francisco Pradilla specialised in dramatic historical events and  folk scenes.  As Director of the Spanish Academy in Rome Pradilla taught Joaquín Sorolla whose subjects focus on leisure and the domestic using the techniques of  the French Impressionists with interest on reflections of light captured beautifully in his Spanish coastal scenes.  Sorolla's portraits reference Velázquez and Goya whilst his monumental "Vision of Spain" shows traditional images of Spain on the brink of modernity,

26/3/21: Modernity - Picasso, Gris, Miro and Dali

Cubism, created by Picasso and developed by Gris revolutionised European art, shattering the smooth, naturalistic image into abstract forms.  Picasso, arguably the most important painter of the 20th century continued to shake conventions throughout his life.   Miro looked to his mind and dreams for his delicate, child-like abstract paintings often accompanied with poetry and declared the "assassination of painting".   Influential to the American Expressionists, Miro's work is closely associated with the Surrealists, Salvador Dali's luminous dreamscapes return to the technique of the early Netherlandish school with details and symbols painted in tiny brush strokes, with a distinctive Spanish resonance.

delivered by Hattie Bennett

Please note that once you pay you will get an email confirming your payment. This email will also contain a link for the online lecture.

  • Make sure the latest version of Chrome is installed on your computer as your browser, this will improve the quality of the streaming (it does not like Safari)
  • You can confirm the download and upload speeds on your device, by going to, 3 Mbps or greater is ideal
  • If using an Ipad, confirm it is on iOS 11 or higher
  • May we suggest that you have only Zoom open on your computer during the session; this will help with internet speeds
  • No microphone or camera are needed

Please make sure to log on 10 min before the start of the talks.

NB 11.00 UK = 12.00 Amsterdam = 6.00 New York = 19.00 Hong Kong

10 GBP = 11.50 Euro = 15 USD = 106 HKD

A recording will be made of this event and can be bought separately after the event has taken place.

Should the current situation change and we might be able to move these lectures into a physical space again, we will - while keeping the online option going for those reluctant or not near our chosen venue.


  • Course of 5 lectures

    This covers the whole course, and gives you a 10% discount from buying the lectures individually.

    Sale ended
  • Creditor

    This ticket is for people who have credit with Art Historical London due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and the cancellation of physical lectures, or because they have paid offline. Your sale will be matched with our records, please note that if you have no credit with Art Historical London your entry to the lecture will be blocked.

    Sale ended



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