Famous Spanish Artists

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  • 0:03 Spanish Artists
  • 0:45 16th to 19th Centuries
  • 3:46 19th to 20th Centuries
  • 6:41 Lesson Summary
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Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

When we learn a language, we also learn about the culture that is attached to that language. This lesson identifies some famous Spanish artists and related vocabulary so you can speak about their works and styles.

Spanish Artists

Imagine going to Spain and visiting some of the wonderful museums in the area. You expect to have a fantastic time and know that you can enhance this wonderful experience if you speak Spanish and have knowledge of Spanish culture.

In this lesson we're going to explore some awesome Spanish people. They are artistas famosos, which means means 'famous artists.' You will learn about some of their most famous works and their estilos artísticos, or artistic styles. The words in this lesson are certainly words you will listen to in audio while walking around a Spanish museum. Let's begin this journey to speaking not only Spanish, but also about Spanish culture.

16th to 19th Centuries

We are back in siglos dieciséis y diecinueve, which means 'sixteenth and nineteenth centuries.'

Tenemos dos artistas famosos. (We have two famous artists.)

Primero, El Greco. Este artista famoso desarrolló su trabajo artístico en el contexto del Renacimiento español. (First, El Greco. This famous artist developed his artistic work in the context of the Spanish Renaissance.)

El estilo de El Greco tiene influencia del antinaturalismo, pero luego el pintor desarrolló su estilo particular. (El Greco's style has influence from the antinaturalism style but then, the painter developed his own particular style.) El estilo de El Greco sobresale por el uso de colores oscuros. (El Greco's style is outstanding because of the use of dark colors.)

El Greco pintó principalmente temas religiosos. (El Greco painted mainly religious themes.) Sin embargo, también es famoso por sus retratos. (However, he is also famous for his portraits.)

Las obras religiosas más famosas de El Greco son (The most famous religious works of El Greco are) La Adoración de los Pastores, (The Adoration of the Shepherds), La Pasión de Cristo, y (The Passion of Christ, and) La Ultima Cena (The Last Supper).

La obra más admirada de El Greco se llama El entierro del conde de Orgaz. (The most admired work by El Greco is called The Burial of the Count of Orgaz.)

Segundo, tenemos a Francisco de Goya. (Second, we have Francisco de Goya.)

El estilo de Goya es el romanticismo. De hecho, sus obras representan la esencia de ese estilo. (Goya's style is romanticism. In fact, his works represent the essence of that style.) Este estilo se concentra en resaltar al individuo. (This style concentrates on highlighting the individual.)

Las obras más famosas de Goya son (The most famous works by Goya are) La familia de Carlos IV, (Charles IV of Spain and his family), Las Majas en el Balcón, (Majas on a Balcony), La Maja Vestida, (The Maja Dressed), La Maja Desnuda, y (The Maja Nude, and ) Saturno devorando a su hijo (Saturn Devouring His Son).

Before we move on, it comes in handy to know that the word maja was used in Madrid until the eighteenth century to refer to plebeian women that were attractive. Nowadays, in Spain, people say ¡Qué maja! (for women) and ¡Qué majo! (for men) to mean a girl or guy is very pretty or handsome.

19th to 20th Centuries

Hay tres artistas famosos que vivieron hasta el siglo veinte. (There are three famous artists who lived until the twentieth century.)

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