Room 30

Spain

Spanish painting flourished during the 17th century principally in the service of God and King. The evolution of a Catholic Counter-Reformation religiosity is revealed in a variety of powerful, individual styles. Not long after El Greco had portrayed the divine with ethereal idealisations of figures, space and light, Diego Velázquez and Francisco de Zurbarán turned to realism to represent the mystical.

To make religion more personally relevant, they used naturalistic light to convey divine presence and they depicted the saints as ordinary people, with a vivid physicality and facial expressions. Taste changed after 1650, and Bartolomé Esteban Murillo appealed to popular piety with an ideal style of soft forms and colours, and a sweet and gentle mood.

At the court of Philip IV, Velázquez transformed his style of earthy realism in order to express the dignity and splendour of the monarchy. He developed an elegant technique of artful brushwork that calls attention to itself and yet conveys compelling actuality when viewed from a distance.

Paintings in this room

Queen Mariana of Spain in Mourning
Queen Mariana of Spain in Mourning
Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo
Don Adrián Pulido Pareja
Don Adrián Pulido Pareja
Possibly by Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo
A Peasant Boy leaning on a Sill
A Peasant Boy leaning on a Sill
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Portrait of Don Justino de Neve
Portrait of Don Justino de Neve
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Self Portrait
Self Portrait
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
The Infant Saint John with the Lamb
The Infant Saint John with the Lamb
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
An Apostle
An Apostle
Jusepe de Ribera
Saint Francis in Meditation
Saint Francis in Meditation
Francisco de Zurbarán
Saint Margaret of Antioch
Saint Margaret of Antioch
Francisco de Zurbarán
 
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