Week 11

Week 11: Wednesday, July 29, 2015
The Seventeenth Century

From Wikipedia on the Seventeenth Century:
The 17th century falls into the Early Modern period of Europe.  This period was characterized by the Dutch Golden Age, the Baroque cultural movement, France in the age of Louis XIV, the Scientific Revolution, and The General Crisis. This last is characterised in Europe most notably by the Thirty Years' War, the Great Turkish War, the end of the Dutch Revolt, and the English Civil War. It was during this period also that European colonization of the Americas began in earnest, including the exploitation of the fabulously wealthy silver deposits in Peru and Mexico which resulted in great bouts of inflation as wealth was drawn into Europe from the rest of the world. European politics during the seventeenth century were dominated by the France of Louis XIV, where royal power was solidified domestically in the civil war of the Fronde, in which the semi-feudal territorial French nobility was weakened and subjugated to the power of an absolute monarchy through the reinvention of the Palace of Versailles from a hunting lodge to a gilded prison in which a greatly expanded royal court could be more easily kept under surveillance. With domestic peace assured, Louis XIV caused the borders of France to be expanded to include, among other regions, Rousillon, Artois, Dunkirk, Franche-Comte, Strasbourg, Alsace and Lorraine. By the end of the century, Europeans were also aware of logarithms, electricity, the telescope and microscope, calculus, universal gravitation, Newton's Laws of Motion, air pressure and calculating machines due to the work of the first scientists of the Scientific Revolution, including Isaac Newton, Gottfried Leibniz, Galileo Galilei, Rene Descartes, Pierre Fermat, Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek and William Gilbert among other luminaries.

REQUIRED READING

Mark Williams, The Story of Spain: The Dramatic History of Europe's Most Fascinating Country

RECOMMENDED READING:

J. H. Elliott, Imperial Spain 1469-1716

J. R. Elliott book continues to be useful for the early part of this quarter. FOR AN EXCELLENT INTRODUCTION TO THE SUBJECT OF THESE FIRST FEW WEEKS, READ CHAPTER 8, "Splendor and Misery," especially on the Crisis of the 1590's.

12

Week 12: Wednesday, July 29, 2015
The Spanish Economy

PART ONE: LECTURE
1) How did the empire of the 16th century affect the Spanish economy at home?

2) How did the empire of the 16th century affect the Spanish governmental structure?

3) How did the empire of the 16th century affect Spanish society?

PART TWO: DVD
Jose Andres take us to Valencia.

REQUIRED READING:

Mark Williams, The Story of Spain: The Dramatic History of Europe's Most Fascinating Country

RECOMMENDED READING:

J. H. Elliott, Imperial Spain 1469-1716

13

Week 13: Wednesday, July 29, 2015
King Philip III of Spain

Felipe3-SpainPART ONE: LECTURE:
Philip II: " God, who has given me so many
kingdoms, has not given me a son fit to govern them."

Subjects for tonight:
Philip III (1578-1621)
His father; Philip II (1527-1598)
His mother: Anna of Austria (1549-1580)
His wife: Margaret of Austria (1584-1611)
Daughter: Anne of Austria, Queen of France (1601-1666)
His prime minister: Duke of Lerma (1552-1625)

From Wikipedia:
Philip III of Spain ( April 14, 1578 to March 31, 1621) was King of Spain (as Philip III in Castille and Philip II in Aragon) and Portugal (Portuguese: Filipe II). A member of the House of Habsburg, Philip III was born in Madrid to King Philip II of Spain and his fourth wife and niece Anna, the daughter of the Emperor Maximilian II and Maria of Spain. Philip III later married Margaret of Austria, sister of his cousin Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor. Although also known in Spain as Philip the Pious, Philip's political reputation abroad has been largely negative : an 'undistinguished and insignificant man,' a 'miserable monarch,' whose 'only virtue appeared to reside in a total absence of vice,' to quote historians C. V. Wedgwood, R. Stradling and J. Elliot. In particular, Philip's reliance on his corrupt chief minister, the Duke of Lerma, drew much criticism at the time and afterwards. For many, the decline of Spain can be dated to the economic difficulties that set in during the early years of his reign. Nonetheless, as the ruler of the Spanish Empire at its height and as the king who achieved a temporary peace with the Dutch and brought Spain into the Thirty Years' War through an (initially) extremely successful campaign, Philip's reign remains a critical period in Spanish history.

PART TWO: Pictures
The family of Philip III.

14

Week 14: Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Lope de Vega

LopedeVega
Lope de Vega
PART ONE: LECTURE:

Lope de Vega

(1562-1635)

Wikipedia on Lope de Vega:
Lope de Vega (1562 to 1635) was a Spanish playwright and poet. He was one of the key figures in the Spanish Golden Century Baroque literature. His reputation in the world of Spanish literature is second only to that of Cervantes, while the sheer volume of his literary output is unequalled, making him one of the most prolific authors in the history of literature. Nicknamed "The Phoenix of Wits" and "Monster of Nature" (because of the sheer volume of his work) by Miguel de Cervantes, Lope de Vega renewed the Spanish theatre at a time when it was starting to become a mass cultural phenomenon. He defined the key characteristics of it, and along with Calderón de la Barca and Tirso de Molina, he took Spanish baroque theatre to its greater limits. Because of the insight, depth and ease of his plays, he is regarded among the best dramatists of Western literature, his plays still being represented worldwide. He was also one of the best lyric poets in the Spanish language, and author of various novels. Although not well known in the English-speaking world, his plays were presented in England as late as the 1660s, when diarist Samuel Pepys recorded having attended some adaptations and translations of them, although he omits mentioning the author. Some 3,000 sonnets, 3 novels, 4 novellas, 9 epic poems, and about 1,800 plays are attributed to him. Although he has been criticised for putting quantity ahead of quality, nevertheless at least 80 of his plays are considered masterpieces. He was a friend of the writers Quevedo and Juan Ruiz de Alarcón, and the sheer volume of his lifework made him envied by not only contemporary authors such as Cervantes and Góngora, but also by many others: for instance, Goethe once wished he had been able to produce such a vast and colourful oeuvre.

REQUIRED READING:

Lope de Vega, Three Major Plays

We will read "El Fuente Ovejuna" in the collection cited above.
Also very useful is the introduction on theater in the age of Lope de Vega.
About the play, from Wikipedia:
"Fuenteovejuna" is a play by the Spanish playwright, Lope de Vega. First published in Madrid in 1619 as part of Docena Parte de las Comedias de Lope de Vega Carpio (Volume 12 of the Collected plays of Lope de Vega Carpio), the play is believed to have been written between 1612 and 1614. The play is based upon an actual historical incident that took place in the village of Fuenteovejuna (now called Fuente Obejuna) in Castile in 1476. While under the command of the Order of Calatrava, a commander, Fernán Gómez de Guzmán, mistreated the villagers, who banded together and killed him. When a magistrate sent by King Ferdinand II of Aragon arrived at the village to investigate, the villagers, even under the pain of torture, responded only by saying "Fuenteovejuna did it."

15

Week 15: Wednesday, July 29, 2015
King Philip IV of Spain

Philippe_IV_espagne
Philip IV of Spain
PART ONE: LECTURE

Wikipedia:
Philip IV of Spain, (portrait by Velázquez at right) April 8, 1605 to September17, 1665, was King of Spain (as Philip IV in Castille and Philip III in Aragon) and Portugal as (Portuguese: Filipe III). He ascended the thrones in 1621 and reigned in Spain until his death. Philip is remembered for his patronage of the arts, including such artists as Diego Velázquez (whose portrait of Philip is seen at right) , and his rule over Spain during the challenging period of the Thirty Years' War. On the eve of his death in 1665, the Spanish Empire had reached its territorial zenith, spanning a then-unheard-of 12.2 million square kilometres (4.7×106 sq mi), but in other respects was in decline, a process to which Philip's inability to achieve successful domestic and military reform is felt to have contributed.

PART TWO: PAINTING

Portraits of the royal family by Velázquez

REQUIRED READING:

Lope de Vega
Three Major Plays

This week we will read a second play from the Lope de Vega collection:

"The Knight from Olmeido"

16

Week 16: Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Ribera and Zurbarán

PART ONE: LECTURE:

1) Art and culture in the age of Philip IV.
2) Jusepe de Ribera (1591-1652) and the influence of Caravaggio.
3) Francisco de Zurbarán (November 7, 1598; died August 27, 1664)

From Wikipedia:
Philip has been remembered both for the 'astonishing enthusiasm' with which he collected art and for his love of theatre. On the stage, he favoured Lope de Vega, Pedro Calderón de la Barca, and other distinguished dramatists. Philip has been credited with a share in the composition of several comedies. Court theatre used perspective scenery, a new invention from Italy not used in commercial theatre at the time – some writers have likened the illusion of Baroque royal theatre to the illusion of kingly power the performances were designed to reinforce. Artistically, Philip became famous for his patronage of his court painter Diego Velázquez. Velázquez originated from Seville and mutual contacts caused him to become known to Olivares, who came from the same region; he was summoned to Madrid by the king in 1624. Despite some jealously from the existing court painters, Velázquez rapidly became a success with Philip, being retained for the rest of his career until his death painting a celebration of the Treaty of the Pyrenees for Philip. The king and Velázquez shared common interests in horses, dogs and art, and in private formed an easy, relaxed relationship over the years. Philip supported a number of other prominent painters over the years, including Eugenio Caxes, Vicente Carducho, Gonzales and Nardi. Philip accumulated paintings from across Europe, especially Italy, accumulating over 4,000 by the time of his death; some have termed this unparalled assemblage a 'mega-collection'.

PART TWO: PAINTINGS

The art of José Ribera and  Francisco Zurbaran.

17

Week 17: Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Diego Velázquez

Velasquez
Diego Velázquez
PART ONE: LECTURE

Diego Velázquez, (self-portrait at right) was born
in Seville in June of 1599 and died in Madrid on August 6, 1660. His parents had been married in the same church of San Pedro within which he was now baptized on June 6. The Velázquez family came from the lower nobility and young Diego might have followed a career in law or the military. But he showed himself to be a brilliant painter from childhood and soon he was studying with one of the best painters in Seville: Francisco Pacheco. Thus Diego began a life as a painter by studying with one who had begun his own career studying El Greco in Toledo. And in the next forty years, Diego would unite in his own work lines of inspiration that would include the work of the great Venetians as El Greco knew them, as well as the brilliant High Renaissance masters Raphael and Michelangelo whom Velázquez would study in Rome, as well as mastering the work so recently created in Rome by one of the most revolutionary artists of all time: Caravaggio. Think of the styles of Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, El Greco, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Caravaggio and that is Velázquez.  His years of preparation included five years of working with Pacheco in Seville, then years in Madrid and several years of study in Italy.  By mid-century, Velázquez had become one of the three greatest painters in the world: Velázquez, Rembrandt, and Vermeer. It is fascinating to study these three great painters in their three masterpieces of near mid-century and to see their shared concerns, their shared painterly inventions as well as their three totally distinct styles. The three works: Velázquez' Las Meninas, Rembrandt's Nightwatch, and Vermeer's The Concert.

PART TWO: PAINTINGS

Click on Velazquez Paintings in order to see a selection of the images we see in class.

18

Week 18: Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Velázquez: Las Meninas

PART ONE: LECTURE

From Wikipedia:
Las Meninas (Spanish for The Maids of Honour) is a 1656 painting by Diego Velázquez, the leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age, in the Museo del Prado in Madrid. The work's complex and enigmatic composition raises questions about reality and illusion, and creates an uncertain relationship between the viewer and the figures depicted. Because of these complexities, Las Meninas has been one of the most widely analyzed works in Western painting. The painting shows a large room in the Madrid palace of King Philip IV of Spain, and presents several figures, most identifiable from the Spanish court, captured, according to some commentators, in a particular moment as if in a snapshot. Some look out of the canvas towards the viewer, while others interact among themselves. The young Infanta Margarita is surrounded by her entourage of maids of honour, chaperone, bodyguard, two dwarfs and a dog. Just behind them, Velázquez portrays himself working at a large canvas. Velázquez looks outwards, beyond the pictorial space to where a viewer of the painting would stand. In the background there is a mirror that reflects the upper bodies of the king and queen. They appear to be placed outside the picture space in a position similar to that of the viewer, although some scholars have speculated that their image is a reflection from the painting Velázquez is shown working on. Las Meninas has long been recognised as one of the most important paintings in Western art history. The Baroque painter Luca Giordano said that it represents the "theology of painting", while in the 19th century Sir Thomas Lawrence called the work "the philosophy of art". More recently, it has been described as "Velázquez's supreme achievement, a highly self-conscious, calculated demonstration of what painting could achieve, and perhaps the most searching comment ever made on the possibilities of the easel painting".

PART TWO: PAINTINGS

The art of Diego Velázquez and "Las Meninas.".

19

Week 19: Wednesday, July 29, 2015
King Charles II

PART ONE: LECTURE on the life of Charles II.

Wikipedia:
Charles II (Spanish: Carlos II) November 6, 1661 to November 1, 1700, was the last Habsburg who reigned in Spain (Castile and Aragon). He also ruled the Spanish Netherlands and Spain's overseas empire, stretching from the Americas to the Spanish East Indies. He is noted for his extensive physical, intellectual, and emotional disabilities as well as his consequent ineffectual rule. He was the last of the Habsburg rulers of Spain, and the other powers as they awaited his death made various arrangements. But peaceful solutions failed and his death led to the War of the Spanish Succession.

PART TWO: PAINTINGS

Genealogical tables and portraits of the Spanish Habsburgs.

20

Week 20: Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Baltasar Gracian

PART ONE: LECTURE

From Wikipedia:
Baltasar Gracian y Morales, SJ (January 8, 1601 to December 6, 1658) was a Spanish Jesuit and baroque prose writer. He was born in Belmonte, near Calatayud (Aragon). The son of a doctor, in his childhood Gracián lived with his uncle, who was a priest. He studied at a Jesuit school in 1621 and 1623 and theology in Zaragoza. He was ordained in 1627 and took his final vows in 1635. He assumed the vows of the Jesuits in 1633 and dedicated himself to teaching in various Jesuit schools. He spent time in Huesca, where he befriended the local scholar Vincencio Juan de Lastanosa, who helped him achieve an important milestone in his intellectual upbringing. He acquired fame as a preacher, although some of his oratorical displays, such as reading a letter sent from Hell from the pulpit, were frowned upon by his superiors. He was named Rector of the Jesuit college of Tarragona and wrote works proposing models for courtly conduct such as El héroe (The Hero), El político (The Politician), and El discreto (The Discreet One). During the Spanish war with Catalonia and France, he was chaplain of the army that liberated Lleida in 1646.

PART TWO: The Art of Bartolomé Murillo
REQUIRED READING:

Baltasar Gracian (Author), Christopher Maurer (Translator), The Art of Worldly Wisdom

SPRING BREAK: MARCH 17 TO MARCH 28, 2014

All

Week 11: Wed., Jul. 29, 2015
The Seventeenth Century

From Wikipedia on the Seventeenth Century:
The 17th century falls into the Early Modern period of Europe.  This period was characterized by the Dutch Golden Age, the Baroque cultural movement, France in the age of Louis XIV, the Scientific Revolution, and The General Crisis. This last is characterised in Europe most notably by the Thirty Years' War, the Great Turkish War, the end of the Dutch Revolt, and the English Civil War. It was during this period also that European colonization of the Americas began in earnest, including the exploitation of the fabulously wealthy silver deposits in Peru and Mexico which resulted in great bouts of inflation as wealth was drawn into Europe from the rest of the world. European politics during the seventeenth century were dominated by the France of Louis XIV, where royal power was solidified domestically in the civil war of the Fronde, in which the semi-feudal territorial French nobility was weakened and subjugated to the power of an absolute monarchy through the reinvention of the Palace of Versailles from a hunting lodge to a gilded prison in which a greatly expanded royal court could be more easily kept under surveillance. With domestic peace assured, Louis XIV caused the borders of France to be expanded to include, among other regions, Rousillon, Artois, Dunkirk, Franche-Comte, Strasbourg, Alsace and Lorraine. By the end of the century, Europeans were also aware of logarithms, electricity, the telescope and microscope, calculus, universal gravitation, Newton's Laws of Motion, air pressure and calculating machines due to the work of the first scientists of the Scientific Revolution, including Isaac Newton, Gottfried Leibniz, Galileo Galilei, Rene Descartes, Pierre Fermat, Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek and William Gilbert among other luminaries.

REQUIRED READING

Mark Williams, The Story of Spain: The Dramatic History of Europe's Most Fascinating Country

RECOMMENDED READING:

J. H. Elliott, Imperial Spain 1469-1716

J. R. Elliott book continues to be useful for the early part of this quarter. FOR AN EXCELLENT INTRODUCTION TO THE SUBJECT OF THESE FIRST FEW WEEKS, READ CHAPTER 8, "Splendor and Misery," especially on the Crisis of the 1590's.

Week 12: Wed., Jul. 29, 2015
The Spanish Economy

PART ONE: LECTURE
1) How did the empire of the 16th century affect the Spanish economy at home?

2) How did the empire of the 16th century affect the Spanish governmental structure?

3) How did the empire of the 16th century affect Spanish society?

PART TWO: DVD
Jose Andres take us to Valencia.

REQUIRED READING:

Mark Williams, The Story of Spain: The Dramatic History of Europe's Most Fascinating Country

RECOMMENDED READING:

J. H. Elliott, Imperial Spain 1469-1716

Week 13: Wed., Jul. 29, 2015
King Philip III of Spain

Felipe3-SpainPART ONE: LECTURE:
Philip II: " God, who has given me so many
kingdoms, has not given me a son fit to govern them."

Subjects for tonight:
Philip III (1578-1621)
His father; Philip II (1527-1598)
His mother: Anna of Austria (1549-1580)
His wife: Margaret of Austria (1584-1611)
Daughter: Anne of Austria, Queen of France (1601-1666)
His prime minister: Duke of Lerma (1552-1625)

From Wikipedia:
Philip III of Spain ( April 14, 1578 to March 31, 1621) was King of Spain (as Philip III in Castille and Philip II in Aragon) and Portugal (Portuguese: Filipe II). A member of the House of Habsburg, Philip III was born in Madrid to King Philip II of Spain and his fourth wife and niece Anna, the daughter of the Emperor Maximilian II and Maria of Spain. Philip III later married Margaret of Austria, sister of his cousin Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor. Although also known in Spain as Philip the Pious, Philip's political reputation abroad has been largely negative : an 'undistinguished and insignificant man,' a 'miserable monarch,' whose 'only virtue appeared to reside in a total absence of vice,' to quote historians C. V. Wedgwood, R. Stradling and J. Elliot. In particular, Philip's reliance on his corrupt chief minister, the Duke of Lerma, drew much criticism at the time and afterwards. For many, the decline of Spain can be dated to the economic difficulties that set in during the early years of his reign. Nonetheless, as the ruler of the Spanish Empire at its height and as the king who achieved a temporary peace with the Dutch and brought Spain into the Thirty Years' War through an (initially) extremely successful campaign, Philip's reign remains a critical period in Spanish history.

PART TWO: Pictures
The family of Philip III.

Week 14: Wed., Jul. 29, 2015
Lope de Vega

LopedeVega
Lope de Vega
PART ONE: LECTURE:

Lope de Vega

(1562-1635)

Wikipedia on Lope de Vega:
Lope de Vega (1562 to 1635) was a Spanish playwright and poet. He was one of the key figures in the Spanish Golden Century Baroque literature. His reputation in the world of Spanish literature is second only to that of Cervantes, while the sheer volume of his literary output is unequalled, making him one of the most prolific authors in the history of literature. Nicknamed "The Phoenix of Wits" and "Monster of Nature" (because of the sheer volume of his work) by Miguel de Cervantes, Lope de Vega renewed the Spanish theatre at a time when it was starting to become a mass cultural phenomenon. He defined the key characteristics of it, and along with Calderón de la Barca and Tirso de Molina, he took Spanish baroque theatre to its greater limits. Because of the insight, depth and ease of his plays, he is regarded among the best dramatists of Western literature, his plays still being represented worldwide. He was also one of the best lyric poets in the Spanish language, and author of various novels. Although not well known in the English-speaking world, his plays were presented in England as late as the 1660s, when diarist Samuel Pepys recorded having attended some adaptations and translations of them, although he omits mentioning the author. Some 3,000 sonnets, 3 novels, 4 novellas, 9 epic poems, and about 1,800 plays are attributed to him. Although he has been criticised for putting quantity ahead of quality, nevertheless at least 80 of his plays are considered masterpieces. He was a friend of the writers Quevedo and Juan Ruiz de Alarcón, and the sheer volume of his lifework made him envied by not only contemporary authors such as Cervantes and Góngora, but also by many others: for instance, Goethe once wished he had been able to produce such a vast and colourful oeuvre.

REQUIRED READING:

Lope de Vega, Three Major Plays

We will read "El Fuente Ovejuna" in the collection cited above.
Also very useful is the introduction on theater in the age of Lope de Vega.
About the play, from Wikipedia:
"Fuenteovejuna" is a play by the Spanish playwright, Lope de Vega. First published in Madrid in 1619 as part of Docena Parte de las Comedias de Lope de Vega Carpio (Volume 12 of the Collected plays of Lope de Vega Carpio), the play is believed to have been written between 1612 and 1614. The play is based upon an actual historical incident that took place in the village of Fuenteovejuna (now called Fuente Obejuna) in Castile in 1476. While under the command of the Order of Calatrava, a commander, Fernán Gómez de Guzmán, mistreated the villagers, who banded together and killed him. When a magistrate sent by King Ferdinand II of Aragon arrived at the village to investigate, the villagers, even under the pain of torture, responded only by saying "Fuenteovejuna did it."

Week 15: Wed., Jul. 29, 2015
King Philip IV of Spain

Philippe_IV_espagne
Philip IV of Spain
PART ONE: LECTURE

Wikipedia:
Philip IV of Spain, (portrait by Velázquez at right) April 8, 1605 to September17, 1665, was King of Spain (as Philip IV in Castille and Philip III in Aragon) and Portugal as (Portuguese: Filipe III). He ascended the thrones in 1621 and reigned in Spain until his death. Philip is remembered for his patronage of the arts, including such artists as Diego Velázquez (whose portrait of Philip is seen at right) , and his rule over Spain during the challenging period of the Thirty Years' War. On the eve of his death in 1665, the Spanish Empire had reached its territorial zenith, spanning a then-unheard-of 12.2 million square kilometres (4.7×106 sq mi), but in other respects was in decline, a process to which Philip's inability to achieve successful domestic and military reform is felt to have contributed.

PART TWO: PAINTING

Portraits of the royal family by Velázquez

REQUIRED READING:

Lope de Vega
Three Major Plays

This week we will read a second play from the Lope de Vega collection:

"The Knight from Olmeido"

Week 16: Wed., Jul. 29, 2015
Ribera and Zurbarán

PART ONE: LECTURE:

1) Art and culture in the age of Philip IV.
2) Jusepe de Ribera (1591-1652) and the influence of Caravaggio.
3) Francisco de Zurbarán (November 7, 1598; died August 27, 1664)

From Wikipedia:
Philip has been remembered both for the 'astonishing enthusiasm' with which he collected art and for his love of theatre. On the stage, he favoured Lope de Vega, Pedro Calderón de la Barca, and other distinguished dramatists. Philip has been credited with a share in the composition of several comedies. Court theatre used perspective scenery, a new invention from Italy not used in commercial theatre at the time – some writers have likened the illusion of Baroque royal theatre to the illusion of kingly power the performances were designed to reinforce. Artistically, Philip became famous for his patronage of his court painter Diego Velázquez. Velázquez originated from Seville and mutual contacts caused him to become known to Olivares, who came from the same region; he was summoned to Madrid by the king in 1624. Despite some jealously from the existing court painters, Velázquez rapidly became a success with Philip, being retained for the rest of his career until his death painting a celebration of the Treaty of the Pyrenees for Philip. The king and Velázquez shared common interests in horses, dogs and art, and in private formed an easy, relaxed relationship over the years. Philip supported a number of other prominent painters over the years, including Eugenio Caxes, Vicente Carducho, Gonzales and Nardi. Philip accumulated paintings from across Europe, especially Italy, accumulating over 4,000 by the time of his death; some have termed this unparalled assemblage a 'mega-collection'.

PART TWO: PAINTINGS

The art of José Ribera and  Francisco Zurbaran.

Week 17: Wed., Jul. 29, 2015
Diego Velázquez

Velasquez
Diego Velázquez
PART ONE: LECTURE

Diego Velázquez, (self-portrait at right) was born
in Seville in June of 1599 and died in Madrid on August 6, 1660. His parents had been married in the same church of San Pedro within which he was now baptized on June 6. The Velázquez family came from the lower nobility and young Diego might have followed a career in law or the military. But he showed himself to be a brilliant painter from childhood and soon he was studying with one of the best painters in Seville: Francisco Pacheco. Thus Diego began a life as a painter by studying with one who had begun his own career studying El Greco in Toledo. And in the next forty years, Diego would unite in his own work lines of inspiration that would include the work of the great Venetians as El Greco knew them, as well as the brilliant High Renaissance masters Raphael and Michelangelo whom Velázquez would study in Rome, as well as mastering the work so recently created in Rome by one of the most revolutionary artists of all time: Caravaggio. Think of the styles of Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, El Greco, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Caravaggio and that is Velázquez.  His years of preparation included five years of working with Pacheco in Seville, then years in Madrid and several years of study in Italy.  By mid-century, Velázquez had become one of the three greatest painters in the world: Velázquez, Rembrandt, and Vermeer. It is fascinating to study these three great painters in their three masterpieces of near mid-century and to see their shared concerns, their shared painterly inventions as well as their three totally distinct styles. The three works: Velázquez' Las Meninas, Rembrandt's Nightwatch, and Vermeer's The Concert.

PART TWO: PAINTINGS

Click on Velazquez Paintings in order to see a selection of the images we see in class.

Week 18: Wed., Jul. 29, 2015
Velázquez: Las Meninas

PART ONE: LECTURE

From Wikipedia:
Las Meninas (Spanish for The Maids of Honour) is a 1656 painting by Diego Velázquez, the leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age, in the Museo del Prado in Madrid. The work's complex and enigmatic composition raises questions about reality and illusion, and creates an uncertain relationship between the viewer and the figures depicted. Because of these complexities, Las Meninas has been one of the most widely analyzed works in Western painting. The painting shows a large room in the Madrid palace of King Philip IV of Spain, and presents several figures, most identifiable from the Spanish court, captured, according to some commentators, in a particular moment as if in a snapshot. Some look out of the canvas towards the viewer, while others interact among themselves. The young Infanta Margarita is surrounded by her entourage of maids of honour, chaperone, bodyguard, two dwarfs and a dog. Just behind them, Velázquez portrays himself working at a large canvas. Velázquez looks outwards, beyond the pictorial space to where a viewer of the painting would stand. In the background there is a mirror that reflects the upper bodies of the king and queen. They appear to be placed outside the picture space in a position similar to that of the viewer, although some scholars have speculated that their image is a reflection from the painting Velázquez is shown working on. Las Meninas has long been recognised as one of the most important paintings in Western art history. The Baroque painter Luca Giordano said that it represents the "theology of painting", while in the 19th century Sir Thomas Lawrence called the work "the philosophy of art". More recently, it has been described as "Velázquez's supreme achievement, a highly self-conscious, calculated demonstration of what painting could achieve, and perhaps the most searching comment ever made on the possibilities of the easel painting".

PART TWO: PAINTINGS

The art of Diego Velázquez and "Las Meninas.".

Week 19: Wed., Jul. 29, 2015
King Charles II

PART ONE: LECTURE on the life of Charles II.

Wikipedia:
Charles II (Spanish: Carlos II) November 6, 1661 to November 1, 1700, was the last Habsburg who reigned in Spain (Castile and Aragon). He also ruled the Spanish Netherlands and Spain's overseas empire, stretching from the Americas to the Spanish East Indies. He is noted for his extensive physical, intellectual, and emotional disabilities as well as his consequent ineffectual rule. He was the last of the Habsburg rulers of Spain, and the other powers as they awaited his death made various arrangements. But peaceful solutions failed and his death led to the War of the Spanish Succession.

PART TWO: PAINTINGS

Genealogical tables and portraits of the Spanish Habsburgs.

Week 20: Wed., Jul. 29, 2015
Baltasar Gracian

PART ONE: LECTURE

From Wikipedia:
Baltasar Gracian y Morales, SJ (January 8, 1601 to December 6, 1658) was a Spanish Jesuit and baroque prose writer. He was born in Belmonte, near Calatayud (Aragon). The son of a doctor, in his childhood Gracián lived with his uncle, who was a priest. He studied at a Jesuit school in 1621 and 1623 and theology in Zaragoza. He was ordained in 1627 and took his final vows in 1635. He assumed the vows of the Jesuits in 1633 and dedicated himself to teaching in various Jesuit schools. He spent time in Huesca, where he befriended the local scholar Vincencio Juan de Lastanosa, who helped him achieve an important milestone in his intellectual upbringing. He acquired fame as a preacher, although some of his oratorical displays, such as reading a letter sent from Hell from the pulpit, were frowned upon by his superiors. He was named Rector of the Jesuit college of Tarragona and wrote works proposing models for courtly conduct such as El héroe (The Hero), El político (The Politician), and El discreto (The Discreet One). During the Spanish war with Catalonia and France, he was chaplain of the army that liberated Lleida in 1646.

PART TWO: The Art of Bartolomé Murillo
REQUIRED READING:

Baltasar Gracian (Author), Christopher Maurer (Translator), The Art of Worldly Wisdom

SPRING BREAK: MARCH 17 TO MARCH 28, 2014