Siglo de oro (Spain)


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A Brief Look at the Siglo de Oro or Golden Age of Spanish Culture for students in the Ist year of Masters in Spanish in Doon University. PPT is for further reference. Detailed explanations have been given in class and BBC documentary on Art of Spain has also been shown.

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Siglo de oro (Spain)

  1. 1. Created by Swagata Kumar Basu, Asstt. Prof, Doon University For SLS 105 Intro to Spanish History and Culture
  2. 2.  What is Siglo de Oro?  Political situation in Spain during the 16th century  Renaissance- General Description  Renaissance in Spain: Art, Architecture and Literature  Political Situation in Spain during the 17th century  Baroque- General Description  Baroque in Spain: Art, Architecture and Literature
  3. 3.  Habsburg Dynasty’s Rule begins  Carlos V (1517 to 1556)  Felipe II (1556 to 1598)  Inquisition continues  Spain fights several wars against France, Muslims and Protestantism  Inflation increases because of the riches coming from the New World
  4. 4.  It is the name given to the 16th and 17th century in Spain’s history as that was the most fecund and rich period in terms of artistic, cultural, arquitectural and literary production  This period is unmatched to any other period of Spanish history  The greatest Spanish painters, writers, dramatists all emerged and created their masterpieces during this period  All the classics: Cervantes, Velázquez, Greco, Lope de Vega, Calderon de la Barca are just a few of the long list we will see in this presentation
  5. 5.  Renaissance  Approx. 16th century  Rise of Spanish Empire  Celebrates Harmony, Simplicity  Optimistic, Hopeful  Open and Transparent  The beginning of change  Baroque  Approx. 17th century  Decadence of Spanish Empire  Projects Complexity  Pessimistic, Disappointed  Hidden and Dark  A further refinement of cultural change
  6. 6. Dominated by appreciation of harmony and simplicity. Quite realistic in many cases. Religion plays an important role. Ref lects the spirit of man capable of creating his own destiny.
  7. 7.  Factors that influenced the rise of literature  The emergence of a wealthy trading class , the burguesía, which was interested in leisure activities and were ready to spend money on entertainment such as reading, theatre, operas etc.  The newly developed technology that facilitated printing books  Themes: Love, Woman’s Beauty, Nature  Also Carpe Diem (Sieze the day), Eternity  Also in Spain- religious themes  Rise of novels
  8. 8. Celestina , Fernando de Rojas, 1499, transition work between Middle Age and Renassaince According to the classical Greek rules
  9. 9.  Introduced Italian poetic forms such as the Sonnet to Spain.  He was a very heroic warrior and poet typical of his time, but unthinkable in Middle Ages  Observe below the typical structure of a Sonnet  His poetry dealt with themes of Love, Beauty, Nature and Carpe Diem
  10. 10.  While the Reform movement of Catholicism was one of the      major factors behind Renaissance in Europe Spain was dominated by Counter-reform against it However religious poetry in Spain did not reinforce the dogmatic orthodoxy of the catholic church It brought God closer to his followers through the movement of Mysticism which believes God can be experienced in one’s own self if one is really a believer It is similar to Bhakti movement of India or Sufi of Islam Santa Teresa de Jesus, San Juan de la Cruz There were other non Mystic but religious poets for eg. Fray Luis de Leon who taught theology at the University of Salamanca and was even tried by the Inquisition
  11. 11. San Juan de la Cruz Santa Teresa de Jesus
  12. 12.  Novels (not in the modern sense though) were quite popular during this time like Pastoral Novels, Knight Errant Tales, Novela Morisca, Picaresque novels  Out of these the Picaresque novel emerged in Spain with the anonymous work La vida de Lazarillo de Tormes, about a poor little boy who is forced to serve several masters to earn his living through which he learns the tricks necessary to survive in a cruel world  It is a very realistic depiction of society of Spain in 16th century  Even in the 17th century major Spanish writers such as Quevedo and Mateo Aleman continued to write this type of novels
  13. 13. Lazarillo by Goya (19th century painter)
  14. 14. Ref lects Disappointment, Pessimism, Deception. Language uses Exaggeration, Complex Metaphors. Questions what is reality?
  15. 15.  Spain lost its hegemony at the end of the Thirty Years        War (1618-1648) Felipe III (1598-1621) Felipe IV (1621- 1665) Carlos II (1665-1700) The last two kings practically left the running of the country in the hands of their favourites Spain remained a feudal society The hidalgos considered themselves to be too superior to work This feudal mentality and the Inquisition did not promote scientific and technological improvements
  16. 16.  Reaction to this among the intellectuals produced a lot of negative feelings such as disappointment, disillusion and pessimism  In culture it got translated into either escapism or criticism, satire, irony etc.  The themes “Nothing is real, everything is an illusion” and “Life is too short” become important  From simplicity and harmony artists move towards complexity and darkness
  17. 17. Quevedo Góngora  Complex at conceptual  Master of using the level therefore his style is called Conceptismo  A bit difficult to understand because of the depth of his concepts  He was also a prose writer language in a complex but beautiful way, so his style is called Culteranismo  More difficult to understand  He was only a poet
  18. 18. Gongora, el hombre a una nariz pegada according to Quevedo
  19. 19. Lope de Vega Calderón de la Barca  The most popular dramatist  Was a court dramatist      of his time and probably ever in Spain Created the New Rules of Comedy Themes of Honour, Courage, Heroism, el Pueblo (common people) Different languages spoken by characters according to their class Major popular form of entertainment for the masses Fuenteovejuna  Had more resources to     improve stage technique, better settings Dealt with the same themes but in a more refined way More philosophical Meant for the elites, not popular form of entertainment La vida es sueño
  20. 20. Lope de Vega Calderon de la Barca
  21. 21.  We look at him last because he was part of both Renassaince and Baroque  Also he wrote every form of literature : prose, poetry and drama.  Simply the greatest Spanish writer of all time  His masterpiece is Don Quijote de la Mancha
  22. 22.  Published in two parts in 1605 and 1616  Considered to be one of the greatest works of universal literature and the first modern novel  Deals with the conflict between Reality and Imagination or Realism vs Idealism  A satire of Novelas de Caballería’ Knight Errant Tales  Plot Summary follows
  23. 23. Alonso Quijano, a poor and old hidalgo who lives in la Mancha is an obsessive reador of Knight Errant tales. One day he goes crazy… And begins to believe himself to be a knight. He names himself Don Quijote de la Mancha and his horse Rocinante and sets out to travel and find adventures
  24. 24. He finds a squire, his friend and companion, Sancho Panza. A typical pot bellied short manchego. Don Quijote and Sancho Panza are each other’s opposite. Don Quijote is only concerned with the ideal world, the golden age of honour, bravery and justice. while Sancho represents the mundane reality of the common man.
  25. 25. The two set out to find adventures and several episodes take place. The most commonly cited is the episode of the windmills. Don Quijote spots several windmills and think them to be monsters with four hands.
  26. 26. Naturally as a brave knight he decides to fight with the monster ignoring Sancho´s warning that they are nothing but windmill
  27. 27. Naturally as a brave knight he decides to fight with the monster ignoring Sancho´s warning that they are nothing but windmill
  28. 28. He gets brutally hurt but even then he continues to believe that it was a magical trick of his enemy which converted the monster into a windmill at the last moment
  29. 29. Inspired by Roman Architecture, Beauty in Symmetry, Importance of Places of Learning
  30. 30. Monastery of El Escorial, Near Madrid, built under Felipe II
  31. 31. University of Alcala de Hernares, near Madrid
  32. 32. University of Salamanca, Salamanca
  33. 33. Over decoration, intricate designs, new and unique strutures to create mysterious light and shadow effects
  34. 34. Plaza Mayor de Salamanca
  35. 35.  One of the most outstanding features of the Cathedral is the Baroque altarpiece called El Transparente. Its name refers to the unique illumination provided by a large skylight cut very high up into the thick wall across the ambulatory behind the high altar, and another hole cut into the back of the altarpiece itself to allow shafts of sunlight to strike the tabernacle. This lower hole also allows persons in the ambulatory to see through the altarpiece to the tabernacle, so that they are seeing though its transparency, so to speak. The work was commissioned by Diego de Astorga y Céspedes, Archbishop of Toledo, who wished to mark the presence of the Holy Sacrament with a glorious monument. El Transparente is several storeys high and is extraordinarily well-executed with fantastic figures done in stucco,painting, bronze castings, and multiple colors of marble; it is a masterpiece of Baroque mixed media by Narciso Tomé and his four sons (two architects, one painter and one sculptor). The illumination is enhanced when the Mass is being said in the mornings and the sun shines from the east, shafts of sunlight from the appropriately oriented skylight striking the tabernacle through the hole in the back of the retable, giving the impression that the whole altar is rising to heaven.
  36. 36. Façade of the Santiago de Compstela Cathedral, this intricate overdecoration is known as the Churriguera style, named after the Churriguera family
  37. 37. Altarpiece designed by Jose de Churriguera (the main architect of the Churriguera family) for the Convent of San Esteban in Salamanca
  38. 38. Difficult for us to distinguish between Renaissance and Baroque. Many styles emerged during this period. Religious themes dominate. Also common are portraits of royals and nobles. There are also some examples of day to day life being depicted in paintings by Velazquez and Murillo. The following are the most important ones, there were many others.
  39. 39.  Renaissance Painter  Worked for Felipe II  Did in most of his paintings what was expected of painters at that time-- Represent religious themes and messages without any ambiguity to evoke devotion in people
  40. 40. St. Peter and St. Paul
  41. 41.  Specialist of Martyrdom paintings
  42. 42. Martyrdom of St. Bartolome
  43. 43. A selfportrait by El Greco
  44. 44. This is “Disrobing of Christ” He faced problems with the Church and Court for his artistic expression which did not fit into the rule book of Spanish Inquisition.
  45. 45. Burial of Count of Orgaz, Greco’s Masterpiece
  46. 46. Toledo
  47. 47. Young beggar by Murillo, He painted several such paintings with profane themes
  48. 48. An old woman frying eggs
  49. 49. Las Meninas, Velazquez’s Masterpiece
  50. 50. For History Refer: Thank you for watching and Good Luck with the Exams