Born into poverty and orphaned at age 2, Impressionist painter Joaquín Sorolla later traveled to Rome to acquire training in painting. He began his career painting on themes of historical and social relevance and later also excelled in landscapes and portraits. Sad Inheritance remains one of his best works.
Santiago Calatrava Valls is a Spanish architect and a structural engineer, internationally known for his sculptural bridges and buildings. Beginning his career in Zurich, building industrial and transportation structures, he soon became famed for his extraordinary designs and began to receive commissions from abroad, designing and building marvelous bridges, stadiums, museums, railway stations, airports, office buildings all over the world.
Spanish artist, sculptor, and architect César Manrique had dropped out of his architecture school because he didn’t like its technical regulations. He later studied painting in Madrid. His creations in Lanzarote, such as the Jameos del Agua and his own house, mingle effortlessly with the volcanic formations of the Canary Islands.
Jusepe de Ribera was a Spanish-Valencian Tenebrist painter and printmaker. He was also called Lo Spagnoletto ("the Little Spaniard") by his contemporaries. Little is known about his early life, though it is believed he studied at the Academy of Saint Luke. He spent several years of his career in Italy and was a leading painter in Naples.
Catalan painter and poet Carles Casagemas was a friend and muse of Pablo Picasso. He died by suicide at 20, following a farewell dinner, after his proposal was rejected by Germaine, a model of both Picasso and Casagemas. Dona vestida de blanc remains one of his notable works.
Antoni Tàpies was a Spanish painter, sculptor, and art theorist. He is regarded as one of the most famous European artists of his generation. He studied at the German School of Barcelona, following which he embarked on a successful artistic career. He became one of the most renowned Spanish artists in the second half of the 20th century.
Spanish painter and art teacher José Ruiz y Blasco was best known as the father of legendary artist Pablo Picasso. Most of his works are depictions of landscapes or doves and pigeons in their natural habitat. He also specialized in still lifes. In his later years, he taught at La Lonja.
Clara Peeters was a Flemish painter from Antwerp known for her still-life works. Active in both the Spanish Netherlands and the Dutch Republic, she is the most famous female Flemish artist of her era. She was one of the few women artists working professionally in 17th-century Europe. She is believed to have been a wealthy and successful artist.
Antonio López García was initially expected to join his family farm but was later introduced to art by his painter uncle. One of the greatest Spanish realist painters and sculptors, he is sometimes referred to as a hyper-realist artist. He excels in a variety of media, including pencil and oil.
Spanish painter Elías García Martínez was trained at an art academy in Barcelona and then served as a professor of ornamental and portrait painting throughout his life. One of his popular frescos in Borja, Ecce Homo, was destroyed by a woman because it needed to be restored, causing international uproar.
Initially a furniture designer, Spanish artist Luis Royo later stepped into the comics industry and then focused on designing covers and other illustrations for sci-fi and fantasy books. He has also released art projects such as Dead Moon and the Malefic Time series, and designed CD covers and tarot cards.
Argentine-born Amalia Ulman, who now lives in the U.S., is regarded as the first great Instagram performance artist. She is best known for her project that involved clicking selfies in fake scenarios and posting them as real-life moments. She mostly deals with themes of gender and sexuality in her art.
José María Cano first came into prominence as part of the popular Spanish pop band Mecano. He later went back to his earlier passion of painting, which he had started to learn as an architecture student. As a contemporary artist, he has held exhibitions such as Apostolate and Game Changers.
Born to a sculptor and metalworker, Julio González was taught the basics of sculpting by his father. Through his friend Pablo Picasso, he got acquainted with the Parisian artistic sphere. Initially a painter, he later revolutionized art with his use of iron as a medium for his sculptures.
Catalan artist Ramon Casas was primarily known for his portraits. Born into an affluent family, he also gained fame for his oil paintings that he sold as postcards and posters, giving rise to the movement known as Modernisme. He also partially funded the Els Quatre Gats bar.
Uruguayan-Spanish artist Joaquín Torres-García didn’t like the conservative style promoted at his Barcelona art academy and deviated more toward Impressionist and post-Impressionist art instead. He later brought Constructivism to South American countries. The Taller Torres García founder is best remembered for his work Monumento Cosmico.
Marià Fortuny, was a leading Spanish painter, who spent most of his brief working life in Rome. Mostly known for his small genre paintings, he worked on various anecdotal themes, filling them with intricate details. Among his large pictures, most significant is Battle of Tetuan. Based on an incident during Moroccan campaign, the picture is an example of pictorial reportage.
Best known for his Arte de la pintura, the most crucial treatise of 17th-century Spanish art, Francisco Pacheco focused on the regulations of depicting religious scenes accurately. He was also the official censor of the Inquisition of Sevilla. He also taught painting to Diego Velázquez and Alonso Cano.
The son of a Spanish metalworker, Ignacio Zuloaga was mostly a self-taught artist. His paintings depict the Spanish culture and are full of motifs such as bullfighters and flamenco dancers. Best known for his works such as Daniel Zuloaga and His Daughters, he spent much of his life in Paris.
Flemish painter Juan de Flandes, or John of Flanders, was first documented as the official painter of Queen Isabella of Castile and León. His original name is not known, but his works were the hallmark of the Early Netherlandish style, replete with rich colors, landscape, and detailed narratives.
A pioneer of Spanish portrait painting and a major figure of the Spanish Renaissance, Alonso Sánchez Coello was born in Valencia but spent his initial years in Portugal with his grandfather, following his father’s death. He grew up to be patronized by King Philip II and also excelled in religious paintings.
Spanish Mannerist painter Luis de Morales is best remembered for his religious paintings such as his multiple depictions of Madonna and Child and the Passion of Christ. His works carry both Flemish and Italian influences and express fervent religious emotions and anguish. He was also commissioned to paint El Escorial.
Orphaned at age 10, Barbizon school painter Narcisse Virgilio Díaz also lost one of his legs to a reptile bite. Raised by a Protestant minister, he initially worked in a porcelain factory. Later, a regular at the Paris Salon, he created masterpieces depicting landscapes, gypsies, and musicians.
Mannerist sculptor and artist Alonso Berruguete is one of the greatest figures of the Spanish Renaissance. He was initially trained by his painter father Pedro Berruguete and grew up to be a master of wood sculptures. He had also briefly been the court painter of Charles V.
Pablo Gargallo initially created 3-D figures out of metal and was one of the first to use iron as a medium for art. The Spanish sculptor is also said to have introduced his friend Pablo Picasso to metal sculpture. His works, such as The Prophet, showcase a prominent streak of Cubism.
Spanish painter Bartolomé de Cárdenas, was better known as Bartolomé Bermejo, the “barmejo” (meaning “red”) bit being a reference to his red hair or face. His oil paintings show a prominent influence of the Netherland school of painting. He developed the Flemish style with works such as Pietà.
Spanish Renaissance painter Vicente Juan Masip was a significant figure of the Valencian school. Initially trained by his father, Vicente Masip, he was later inspired by Italian painters such as da Vinci and created masterpieces such as Altarpiece of Saint Stephen. His works include religion, mythology, and portraits.
Best known for his portraits, Spanish painter Juan Pantoja de la Cruz had been the court painter of both Philip II and Philip III. While his paintings were mostly inspired by Titian and others of the Venetian school, he also exhibited a streak of the Netherlandish attention to detail.
Spanish Basque sculptor, painter, and modern art theorist Jorge Oteiza had spent 14 years in South America. He called his work intención experimental and gained fame for masterpieces such as the Empty Boxes series and his sculptures installed at exhibitions such as the São Paulo Biennial and the Venice Biennial.
Spanish Castilian painter Fernando Gallego is remembered for his Hispano-Flemish style of art, which combined the Spanish and Netherlandish influences of his time. He was known for his intense expression of human emotions through his art. One of his best works is the ceiling of the University of Salamanca library.
Remembered as the Spanish Michelangelo for his artistic diversity, Alonso Cano excelled as a painter, sculptor, and architect. Apart from being the court painter of Philip IV, he had also been the first royal architect. His paintings have strong streaks of tenebrism, or a focus on darkness.
Spanish painter Antonio Palomino was the last court painter to King Charles II of Spain. His works include fresco paintings on the ceilings of the church of the Santos Juanes and that in the dome of the sacristy of the Cartuja de Granada. His book on art, El Museo pictórico y escala óptica includes significant biographical material on Spanish artists.
Spanish-born painter Sebastián López de Arteaga was the pioneer of tenebrism in Mexican Baroque painting. He also used the chiaroscuro form. He had been the notary of the Holy Office of the Inquisition and is remembered for his masterpieces such as Incredulity of St. Thomas and Marriage of the Virgin.
Francisco Bayeu was an 18th-century Spanish painter. He worked in the Neoclassic style and his main subjects were religious and historical themes. He was very famous for his frescoes. He was given a position at the Royal Tapestry Factory by King Charles III and was later appointed a court painter. His brothers Ramón and Manuel were also famous painters.
Spanish painter and engraver Francisco Herrera the Elder is regarded as the founder of the Seville school of art. Through his works, he charted a path of transition from Mannerism to the Baroque style. He briefly trained Diego Velázquez and created masterpieces such as The Apotheosis of St. Hermenegild.
Spanish painter Isidre Nonell, the pioneer of modern Spanish art, was responsible for the revival of Catalan art in the 20th century. He was part of the Barcelona-based artistic group Quatre Gats. Though overshadowed by his friend Pablo Picasso, he is remembered for his realistic depiction of poor women.
José Vela Zanetti was a Spanish painter and muralist. He worked in Spain, the Dominican Republic, and the United States during his career. Following the end of the Spanish Civil War, he went into exile in the Dominican Republic, where he found much success. He eventually became the director at the National School of Fine Arts.
Francisco Herrera the Younge was a Spanish painter who was known for his contribution to the development of Spanish Baroque style in Seville and Madrid. He began his career in Rome, studying architecture, and became known for his paintings of still life. Later, he returned to Spain, where he continued to paint, creating many masterpieces. He was eventually appointed painter to the Spanish king and superintendent of royal buildings.
Spanish Baroque painter Luis Tristán was a pupil of El Greco and was highly inspired by Greco’s art. Orazio Borgianni, too, inspired him. His most significant works include The Adoration of the Magi and Holy Family. Some of his paintings on church altarpieces were destroyed during the Spanish Civil War.
Basque Spanish painter Baltasar de Echave Orio, also referred to as Echave the Elder, was among the earliest Spanish artists who reached Mexico. His works mainly featured religious themes. Some of the notable ones, including The Martyrdom of San Aproniano, The Adoration of the Magi and The Holy Family finds place in the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City.
Spanish artist and architect Juan Guas of French origin was one of the main architects who created the Isabelline style, the dominant architectural style of the Crown of Castile during late-15th century to early-16th century. Two of his notable buildings of this style include Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes in Toledo and Colegio de San Gregorio in Valladolid.
A descendant of a noble family, Spanish painter, poet, sculptor, and architect Pablo de Céspedes initially studied theology and Oriental languages. He was once charged with heresy in Rome but was acquitted. His most notable works include his poem The Art of Painting and his frescos of Roman churches.
Sixteenth-century Spanish painter Francisco López was primarily known as a pupil of Andalusian-born Spanish painter and sculptor Gaspar Becerra. He was trained in Madrid, along with co-pupils such as Miguel Barroso and Jerónimo Vázquez during the reign of Philip II.
One of the most prominent members of the Atlántica movement of the 1980s meant to popularize Galician art, Spanish painter Antón Lamazares initially created colorful and lucid expressionist works, mostly painted on wood and cardboard surfaces. He later deviated to abstraction and ultimately to post-minimalist art.