Research suggests that language learners do better if they take an active interest in the culture of the country whose language they are learning; they’re more likely to persevere with their studies and they enjoy better results. To that end, we’re going to take a look at one of the great pillars of Spanish culture, art.
Spain has a rich history of art dating back thousands of years. The oldest surviving examples of Spain’s early art are probably that of the ancient Iberians, whose cave paintings and sculptures are some of the finest of their kind. However, it’s for later artists that Spain is particularly famous – those of the Spanish Golden Age of the 15th to 17th centuries, when Spanish influence in the art world was at its height.
It’s during this period that Spain produced important artists such as Diego Velázquez, court painter to King Philip IV, and leading exponent of artistic realism. His portraits and landscapes were lauded throughout Europe and his most famous work, Las Meninas, is acknowledged to be one of the most significant paintings in the history of Western art. Also associated with this period are the great masters Francisco de Zurbarán, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo and, though not Spanish by birth, El Greco.
Later Spain produced noted artists like Goya, a romantic painter active during the Peninsular War, who is heralded as the last of the old masters and first of the modern. Spanish artists were also at the cutting edge of 20th-century art movements too, with Picasso and Gris being leading figures in cubism, Dali in surrealism and Miró in abstract art.
If this small taste of Spanish art has whetted your appetite for the language, we can help you with private Spanish lessons.