Spanish Art and Architecture

Spanish Art and Architecture
  • Spanish artists
  • Prehistoric Art
  • Mozarabic and Romanesque Art
  • Gothic Art
  • Renaissance Art
  • Baroque, Rococo & Neoclassic Art
  • 19th and 20th Century Art

Mozarabic and Romanesque Art and Architecture

Mozarabic and Romanesque Art and Architecture After the Arabic invasion, the Moorish civilization and culture flourished and exerted great influence on the conquered Christians. As both continued living on the Peninsula, their cultures and art forms inevitably blended to a considerable extent, resulting in what today is referred to as the Mozarabic style.

This synthesis of styles appeared mainly in architecture, especially in the South where the Islamic civilizations flourished for the longest period of time. Two of the most famous Islamic buildings are the Great Mosque of Cordoba and the Alhambra in Granada. Meaning “red castle”, the Alhambra derives its name from the colour of its walls, which are made from clay extracted from the surrounding area.

Romanesque architecture developed further toward the North, where the Christian strongholds were. Strong Italian and French influence is evident, as well as some Moorish features and architecture was based on stone and vaulted buildings. As the cradle of the reconquest, in this area many churches and chapels were built with this style. In painting and sculpture, Romanesque influence was much stronger than Islamic style. Mozarabic manuscripts represented the earliest Spanish paintings but these were not as sophisticated or as striking as their Romanesque counterparts.

Next to Italy, Spain has the greatest number of wall paintings and panel paintings (altar fronts) left over from this era. The subject matter is predominantly religious, focusing on the Roman Catholic branch of Christianity, which is the country’s official religion. Sculptures of the time include mostly carvings and stone adornments on monasteries and churches.

Join a Spanish Language Course in Spain and get a glimpse of this unique artistic style.