Baroque art of Spain
Influenced by the Baroque art of Italy, the Baroque art developed in Spain, due to regional cultural characteristics, has some recognizable and comparable elements that make its separate identification easier. The first painter of Baroque art in Spain was
Francesco Ribalta in whose paintings the sharp opposition of shadow and light gave the figures a sculptural density. Ribalta was influenced by the sixteenth-century Venetian painter Sevasti anni di Piambo and copied Piambo’s paintings.
From the point of view of density, Rivalta’s art is very similar to the art of Karavadhya, although instead of the sentimentalism of Karavadya, it shows sattvik devotion.
Ribalta achieved only regional fame, while José de Ribera (1591–1652), who may have received his early education from Ribalta before going to Italy, became a painter of international renown.
Very little information has been obtained about Ribera’s early life. After 1619, he first went to Lombardy in Italy. Later, from there he went to Parma and then to Rome, where he was most influenced by the art of Karavajyo. In 1616 he settled in Naples and continued working there till the end. He received many honors.
In 1626 he became a member of the Academy of St. Luke in Rome and was continuously the court painter of the Viceroy of Spain, posted in Naples. Following the intense shadow, light, and reality of Karavadji, Rivera’s style is inherent in the original notation method.
He has highlighted the figures with solid layers of colors and has given a light and attractive texture to the painting area through the use of a paintbrush. The greatest paradox of Ribera’s art is the transcendent emotion or vision of deep human emotion created by absolutely realistic shapes.
His monks and martyrs, despite being depicted as human beings with muscular bodies similar to rural farmers, appear engrossed in transcendental bliss.
Ribeiro not only illuminated Caravadjyo’s density by transforming it but also made him aware of the qualities of deep mystery and tranquility of dark recesses which are rarely seen in Caravadjyo’s paintings.
These qualities have been developed with great simplicity in the paintings ‘Adoration of the Shepherds’, ‘Repentant Magdalene’, and ‘Self-Sacrifice of Saint Bartholomew’ (Figure 15). This picture ‘The Holy Trinity’ is filled with the supernatural.
Ribera’s art not only influenced the artists of Naples but his art was also admired and gained followers in Spain. Among his disciples and followers, Giordano’s art is closest to him in terms of quality.
Francisco de Thubran (1598-1664) is the best among the Spanish painters who did the most religious depictions in the Baroque painting of that time. The art creation of Thurvaran mostly took place under the patronage of religious monks.
He was influenced by the ideas of retirement writers like Miguel de Morinas. These anti-religious movements firmly believed that communication between the soul of a devoted devotee and the divine voice was possible.
In the works of artists inspired by such religious or other external purposes, we cannot expect individualistic qualities like free handling of the paintbrush or display of mastery of the drawing method and such painters are unlikely to develop the color, beauty or other sensory elements of the artwork. And pay more special attention.
Thurbaran’s artistic personality also seems to have been influenced by retirement ideas. By giving secondary importance to the appearance of clothes or the actual form of objects, they have paid more attention to the serious purity of the environment.
Even in object painting, he has tried to give divine superiority to the objects. He did not try to create a sense of depth in the recesses or to create movement in the human figures.
In many paintings, he painted human figures on a flat dark background from which they stand out clearly. In his painting ‘The Divine Vision of Saint Benedict’, there is a glimpse of divinity in the scene of heaven depicted in the upper part, but there is a lack of realism in the architectural depiction of the background.
The simplicity of his color scheme may have been derived from his study of 15th-century Dutch art, whose works he had become familiar with in Spanish museums.
He achieved great fame during his lifetime when he was commissioned to paint Seville, Madrid, Guadalupe and other major cities.
After his death, he was forgotten in the art field. But in the 20th century, the greatness of his art was recognised, and he began to be counted among the best painters of Spain.