Pablo Picasso was a renowned artist whose paintings sell by millions of dollars at auctions even today, many years after his death. With masterful strokes, attractive shades and rich textures, Picasso created some of the most visually impressive arts of the 20th century. While exploring new styles and experimenting with different techniques, Picasso co-founded Cubist art style and co-invented collage.
Salvador Dali was a Spanish artist best remembered for his precise draftsmanship and technical skills. His artwork is famous for depicting bizarre and striking images. In spite of producing brilliant artworks, Dali's ostentatious and eccentric public behavior often overshadowed his professional achievements, much to the irritation of his fans and critics. His works have influenced other artists like Jeff Koons.
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.
Born to an artisan father in Catalan, Joan Miró was allowed to attend art school after falling sick working as a clerk. Known for combining surrealism and abstract art, he experimented with various forms of art, including paintings, sculptures, and ceramics, and created masterpieces such as The Farm.
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.
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.
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).
Juan Gris was a Spanish painter whose paintings are counted among the Cubism movement's most distinctive works. Gris's works and style influenced the Purist style of Charles Edouard Jeanneret and Amédée Ozenfant. Some of his paintings, such as Still Life with Checked Tablecloth and The musician's Table, have sold for millions of dollars at the auction.
A significant figure of the Mexican surrealist movement, artist Remedios Varo was taught technical drawing by her hydraulics engineer father. Born in Spain, she later fled to France with her lover, poet Benjamin Péret, and then to Mexico to escape Nazism. She was also interested in sacred geometry and alchemy.
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.
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.
Born into slavery, Juan de Pareja began his artistic career assisting his master, painter Diego Velázquez, in his workshop, painting Portrait of Agustín Moreto while in slavery. Freed in 1650, which came into effect four years later, he continued to work as an independent painter, very soon developing his own style, creating masterpieces like The Calling of Saint Matthew.
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.
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.
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.
Eduardo Chillida was a Spanish Basque sculptor. He is best known for his monumental abstract works. As a young man, he aspired to play professional football, but injuries put an end to his dreams. After dabbling in architecture for a while, he eventually became an artist and sculptor. His sculptures have been collected by major museums.
Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau Nieto is a Spanish hyperrealist painter, who developed a passion for oil painting and an interest in military activities and horses early in his life. He, continued to paint while serving as a textile designer and later while undergoing national service in the Spanish Army. He now specializes in historical military paintings, which portray various epochs of the Spanish Armed Forces.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Catalan Baroque painter Josep Maria Sert is best remembered for his murals which adorn iconic buildings such as the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York and the League of Nations assembly hall in Geneva. He took 30 years to paint the Vic Cathedral, which was eventually destroyed by fire.
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.
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.
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.
Known as an artistic nomad, who is constantly on the move, experiencing nature, Miquel Barceló is one of Spain's most acclaimed contemporary artists, whose works effuse a fierce energy, making them animate. Although he is best known for his mixed-media paintings, bronze sculptures and ceramics, he also works with non-traditional materials like volcanic ash, food, seaweed, sediments, homemade pigments etc.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Credited as the first Renaissance painter in Spain, Pedro Berruguete brought back the style to Spain, when he returned home after a short stint in Italy. Initially working in various cities, he finally settled down in Avila, painting the main altarpiece in the convent of San Tomás, drawing heavily from Flemish, Spanish Gothic, and Italian Renaissance, without actually imitating any.
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.
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 sculptor Juan Martínez Montañés was one of the most influential figures of the Sevillian school of sculpture and was majorly responsible for the transition of Mannerism to the Baroque style of art. He is best remembered for his wood altars and was known as the God of Wood Carving.
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.
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.
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.
After being expelled from school, Juan Muñoz was homeschooled by an art critic and poet. Born in Spain, the sculptor later moved to England to study art and then went to New York on a Fulbright scholarship. He is best known for his human figures made of resin and bronze.
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.
Baroque Era Spanish sculptor Luisa Ignacia Roldán, known for her polychromed wooden statues of various religious figures, was the first woman sculptor to be documented in Spain. One of the few women artists to maintain independent studio outside convents, she later became the court sculptor to Habsburg monarch, King Charles II.
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.