Join Dr Kathleen Olive, Elena Ortega and Dr Jeni Ryde as they explore the remarkable art of northern Spain, from the distinctive style that developed in the 15th century through to modern masters such as Sorolla, and the Basque school of sculpture.
Dr Kathleen Olive The Hispano-Flemish style in the 15th century, and the notion of regional identity
Flanders and northern Spain have been closely associated for centuries – not always with positive outcomes: just think of the Eighty Years War! – and in recent years the two regions have been linked again as they strive for political independence. Art has long been a way to establish and reinforce regional identity, as artists adopt or resist foreign and national influence for both aesthetic and political reasons. In the face of the Spanish state’s staggering 15th-century growth, a distinctive type of painting, now known as the Hispano-Flemish style, made a strong case for Catalonia-Aragon’s uniqueness. With its glowing glazes of oil medium and rich light combined with an extraordinary Flemish attention to detail and a unique vision of reality, Hispano-Flemish art made such a successful statement of beauty and difference that it was even exported, influencing the work of masters such as Antonello da Messina and Piero della Francesca.
Elena Ortega Masters of Light: Sorolla and his Contemporaries.
Step into the world of Spanish art at the turn of the 20th century and explore the astonishing mastery of light and its subtle effects. This period has been seen by some art historians as the epilogue of the naturalism that originated in the Renaissance and the breakthrough of the 20th-century avant guarde. No other painter of this time in Spain enjoyed as much international appeal as Joaquín Sorolla, whose work captured the intensity of the Spanish light. Looking at Sorolla and his contemporaries, some of whom were diametrically opposed in terms of style, will shed light, literally and figuratively, on this exciting and complex period in Spanish art.
Dr Jeni Ryde The Aesthetics of the Basque Soul
Abstract sculpture is a significant feature of the Basque urban and rural landscape and is undoubtedly the most characteristic art form. Three influential and internationally known artists are Eduardo Chillida, Jorge Oteiza and Nestor Basterretxea, founders of the ‘Escuela Vasca’, the Basque School of sculpture and whose work can be found all over the Basque world. This talk showcases their sculpture and examines in particular the remarkable influence of their homeland, its politics, its mythology and its traditions on their aesthetic and expression of the Basque identity.