Diego Velázquez was a Spanish painter who served as the most important artist in King Philip IV's court. The leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age, Velázquez's work served as a model for impressionist and realist painters of the 19th century. In the 20th century, personalities like Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso re-interpreted some of Velázquez's most iconic images.
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo was a Spanish Baroque painter. He is most famous for his religious works. He also produced numerous paintings of contemporary women and children, especially of flower girls, street urchins, and beggars. He had many followers and pupils and was one of the founders of the Academia de Bellas Artes (Academy of Art).
Francisco de Zurbarán was a Spanish painter known primarily for his religious paintings depicting monks, nuns, and martyrs. He was also famous for his still-lifes. His forceful use of the chiaroscuro style of painting gained him the nickname "Spanish Caravaggio." He was much respected during his lifetime and was appointed painter to King Philip IV.
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.
Spanish painter Juan Sánchez Cotán is regarded as one of the pioneers of Baroque realism. He is best known for his still lifes, also known as bodegones, which showed a signature illusion of depth and volume using light and shadow. His subjects ranged from fruits and vegetables to birds.
Spanish Baroque painter and the president of the Sevilla Academy, Juan de Nisa Valdés Leal is remembered for his masterpieces such as St. Andrew, Vanitas, and La Vírgen de los Plateros. Though initially characterized by his use of vibrant colors, he later dealt with macabre themes and violence.
Renowned Spanish Baroque painter Juan Carreño de Miranda had been the court painter of King Charles II. His frescos and oil paintings of religious scenes, such as Founding of the Trinitarian Order, depict a balanced combination of light and shadow. His portraits of the royal family are rich in their accuracy.
The son of Portuguese sculptor Faustino Coello, Spanish Baroque painter Claudio Coello is regarded as the last of the great masters of the 17th-century Madrid school. His Adoration of the Holy Eucharist, which adorns the El Escorial, is one of his masterpieces. He was patronized by Charles II.
While he initially studied philosophy and literature, Alfonso Pérez Sánchez later also learned film direction. Apart from teaching at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, the Spanish art historian also served as the director of the Museo del Prado. He organized exhibitions and was also part of a ministry of culture commission.