The Development of Cubism

When we talk about the history of Spanish painting, we’re not just talking about how paintings are made in Spain and what the subject of these paintings is. We’re also talking about how artists like Picasso influenced the creation of art styles like Cubism. Cubism is a very important part of art history as it completely changed how subjects were perceived in art during the time of its inception.

What is Cubism?

Created by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, Cubism is a style of painting that relied on flat and two-dimensional images. It broke away from the notion that art should depict realistic subjects and natural scenes but rather dealt with creating a new reality for a subject on the canvas in the form of fragmented images.

Analytical and Synthetic Cubism

Between the years 1910 and 1912, Picasso and Braque’s work became more about the analysis and breakdown of form rather than anything else. Most of the work during this period was monochromatic and contained straight lines merged with some sculptural elements at times. Objects were broken down into flat, opaque and transparent, planes that overlapped with one another.

Synthetic Cubism came up after 1912 when people started getting more interested in the art form. This kind of Cubism revolved around the synthesis of different forms. Where Analytical Cubism was devoid of color, this phase saw color as an important part of the paintings. Shapes became more decorative than before, textures were found in strong contrast with one another, and materials like newspapers and wrappers were also pasted on the canvas. These collages were important because they further enhanced the feeling of textural contrast on the canvas while also creating an illusion between the real and the imaginary.

Influence on Other Art Forms

The reason Cubism is so important in art history is that it impacted other forms of art as well. Many sculptors started working in the Cubist style during the 20th century and even architects like Corbusier found themselves breaking down buildings into cubic shapes.
Cubism, as you can see, has had a very meaningful impact on the way we perceive art and architecture even today. It was an art form that completely changed how people looked at nature and opened many doors into the world of abstraction and expression.

See More

A Brief History of Spanish Painting

It’s no secret that Spain has been home to many famous painters of the world. Including the likes of Goya and Picasso, many Spanish painters are known around the world for their signature styles and their contributions to the world of art. Many styles of art including Cubism, Surrealism, and Romanticism were developed with help from Spanish artists.

Let’s take a look at some of the most important Spanish painting eras that have been instrumental in the development of art over time.

The Prehistoric Era

Before there were colorful oil and water paints for artists to create with, there were natural sources of pigment like stones and plants that people would use to make paintings on the walls of caves. These cave paintings have been largely found in places like France and Spain, and often depicted animals like bulls, horses, goats, and bears.

Since there were limited colors to work with at the time, most paintings have been found done in only black and ochre. However, even with limited materials, the early artists of our world did the best they could to capture the world around them.

The Romanesque Era

Another era where the Spanish artists really made their mark was the Romanesque. This was a time when manuscript painting, where handwritten editions of the Bible had detailed and intricate paintings, was at an all-time high. Another reason for Spanish art to thrive during this era was that a lot of churches were being built at the time, providing painters with huge walls, vaults, and ceilings to unleash their creativity on.

The Gothic Era

After the Romanesque times, Spanish painters made a lot of contributions in the Gothic Era as well. The Gothic painting was much like the Romanesque one, but much more detailed and intricate. Large churches and cathedrals saw murals being painted on their walls by notable Spanish artists, murals that had more life and movement than any that had been seen before.
Other than these, illuminated manuscripts, frescoes, stained glass art, and panel paintings were also made in large quantities during this era in Spain. Towards the end of this era, Spain started seeing the use of oil paints on canvases, which in some cases became the stepping stone for how paintings would be made as time moved on.

See More