Religiousity in Hispanic Art

      This gallery explores the realm of art within the Hispanic culture. It strives to show the religiousity of Hispanic cultures displayed through thier art. Also, to give a brief look at various works, artists and styles of Hispanic art throughout the years. In this way then, it is hoped that the viewer comes away with a better understanding of Hispanic culture and how its religiousity was displayed through its art. It is fascinating to note that as the pieces are looked at chronologically, one is able to see the progression of distinct forms to more imaginative forms. Another impressive point is the background knowledge required of the artists to even construct these works of art. Many of the pieces depicting saints would have required more than a basic understanding of the saint, his sacrifice and why they were even important to depict. 

Pieces such as this were commonly found in western churches. The altar was often richly adorned with frontals in a variety of media, including carved and painted wood, sculpted metal, carved alabaster, and richly woven textiles. The scenes here have been pianted on a solid panel, but the decorative borders of the work are reminiscent of textiles, which were often used as altar frontals. This information was found here: http://art.thewalters.org/detail/19473/altar-frontal-with-christ-in-majesty-and-the-life-of-saint-martin/
Gregorio Fernandez created sculptures for altarpieces and "pasos procesionales" like Camino del Calvario and made many iconographic images which served as models for other artists for many years to come. This piece is one of those such influential pieces by Fernandez and is a prime example of how religiousity of Hispanic art influenced art as a whole.
The title of this work adds an interesting dimension to the exhibit. It is clear that it is very religious by name and required an understanding of biblical history. For this reason, it gives an example of the knowledge required of the artists before they could even begin a painting. This is how Carte influenced the western civilization: through his historically painted portraits.
The works of Jose Ribera were influenced by the stylistic techniques of Amerighi da Caravaggio. However, he was more interested in displaying the contrast between light and dark in his paintnig rather than the naturalistic techniques used by Caravaggio. This intrest greatly influenced Hispanic artists, particularly those whose works dealt with some religious aspect.
Like his immediate predecessors, Pedro de Mena excelled in the portrayal of contemplative figures and scenes. This sculpture shows one of those such works. Mid-17th century, Mena signed a contract for sculptural work on the choir stalls of the cathedral of Malaga, this work extending over four years. Here it was shown that in technical skill and the expression of religious motive his statues are unsurpassed in the sculpture of Spain. Source: Hugh Chisholm, Encyclopaedia Britannica
According to Jose Couto,"Cabrera was the personification of the great artist and of the painter par excellence; and a century after his death the supremacy which he knew how to merit remains intact". For this reason, Cabrera, and this piece in particular, serve as an example of his influence. It is especially clear that his skill in personifying the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is indeed astounding.
Although this work carries the theme of religiousity with the image of Nuestra Senora de la Soledad, its approach at carrying out the message is quite different from the others. While all the other pieces in this exhibit explicitly depict a religious event, this work takes some looking into. It leaves the viewer searching for meaning, which is interesting given the image and subject matter. Because, the men in the painting seem also to be looking for someone. Goya's msterpieces and career led him to be regarded as the most important Spanish artist of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The worship in this church, like that of its pre-Hispanic native predecessors, is associated with the request for rain. It is interesting that the everyday things such as praying for rain and the simple walk up to this church were among the things that the artist of this era wanted to depict. In this way then, we start to see a shift in the subject matter while still carrying the theme of religiousity.
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This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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