Search Results for: Catholic Kings

Spain: The Politics of the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand/ Fernando II (King of Aragón from 1479-1516) and Isabella/Isabel I (Queen of Castile from 1474-1504) On the morning of October 19, 1469, the marriage took place in Valladolid (Castile) between Isabella and Ferdinand, heirs respectively to the thrones of Castile and Aragón that would have far-reaching consequences.  […]

Spain and the Politics of Charles V/Carlos V (ruled 1516-56). When Isabella and Ferdinand, heirs respectively to the crowns of Castile and Aragon (which included Catalonia, the kingdom of Naples, Sicily, Sardinia), married in 1469, they laid the foundations of Spain’s Golden Age. They left a country politically united, imposed religious uniformity and, thanks to the […]

Velázquez’s Adoration of the Magi 1619. Diego Velázquez’s Adoration of the Magi forms part of a long list of paintings dealing with one of the most popular topics in the Christian calendar: the visit paid by the three Wise Men (often known, too, as the three “Kings”) to the manger at Bethlehem. Religious art was […]

Velázquez. Two Early Religious Paintings. The Immaculate Conception (c. 1619) and The Vision of St. John (c. 1619). Religious paintings were the “bread and butter” for artists during Spain’s Golden Age thanks to the Catholic Church and its related monasteries, convents, and abbeys, which were the wealthiest institutions in the country. Seville at the turn […]

El Escorial. The Escorial is an immense monastery and mausoleum located about 52 kilometres (32 miles) north west of Madrid. But it is more than just a monastery or mausoleum. It is in fact a royal monastery and  the most outstanding example of Renaissance architecture in Spain. It contains an exceptional library and a remarkable […]

Golden Age Art: Portraiture. Introduction.Pictorial representations of people stretch back in Europe to Greece and Rome, although surviving examples exist primarily on painted vases, mosaics and frescos. During the Middle Ages, the Christian view of the material world as generally worthless discouraged realistic features, associating human representation with the sin of pride. Depictions of people […]

Visiting Córdoba. Situated on the banks of the Guadalquivir river, Córdoba today is a modestly sized city of some 300.000, but surprisingly from the 8th to 10th centuries it was the largest and wealthiest city in Europe. As capital of al-Andalus (Islamic Spain), it dazzled with its civilised air, paved streets, libraries, public baths, perfumes, spices, silks. […]

Fri. May 3. 2013. Day 17 Sos del Rey Catolico and Monasterio de Leyre.  See Travel Itinerary for a rationale of this trip, a who’s who of those travelling, and our itinerary.   We were up early and so was the sun. Javier and Farnès, the owners of our hotel/B and B, El Sueño de Virila, had […]

April 21, 2013. Day 5. Granada See Travel Itinerary for a rationale of this trip, and a who’s who of those travelling. We were up early, breakfasting in a small eatery in one of the side streets behind our hotel, Monjas del Carmen. We were happy with the hotel. The rooms were small by North American standards, […]

The decline in popularity of romances of chivalry in the second half of the 16th century in Spain is all the more dramatic given their remarkable vogue in the first half.  Specific causes are difficult to pinpoint, and their decline was most likely caused by a combination of factors. The Court. When Charles V, king of Spain […]