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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

And with the claims of Ribera deserving consideration


of his work. The diffusion

of his paintings in Spain tended to make him influential in the Spanish school, to which his individuality, as well as his birth, entitled him to belong. Zurbar?n (1598-1663) was the most rigorous of the realists, including all the accessories in his paintings, even to the minute details of a person's dress. Less vigorous than Ribera he was best in his portrayal of monks, in which subject-matter his sombrely passive, exceedingly religious atmosphere found a suitable vehicle. He was nevertheless a brilliant colorist. Next in point of time came Diego Vel?zquez de Silva (1599-1660), greatest of Spanish masters and possibly the greatest of all painters. Vel?zquez had various periods and various styles, in all of which he produced admirable works. Unlike his predecessors and those who succeeded him as well, he was as diverse in subject-matter as it was possible to be, within the law, and was far less notable for his religious works than for his many others. He depicted for all time the court life of Philip III and Philip IV, including the portraits of those kings and the other leading figures of the court. Some of his greatest work appeared in these portraits, which he knew how to fit into a setting of landscape, making the central figure stand out in a way that no other painter has surpassed or perhaps equalled. He also painted common people (as in his _Los borrachos_, or Intoxicated men) and queer people (as in his paintings of dwarfs), and drew upon mythology (as in his composition
entitled "the forge of Vulcan") and upon contemporary wars (as witness the famous "surrender of Breda"). Once only, during a lapse of the prohibitory law, did he paint a nude,--the celebrated Venus of the mirror, now in London, one of the greatest works of its kind. In many of his paintings he revealed himself as a wonderful landscape painter. His landscapes were characterized by the use of a pale, yet rich, pervading blue, and by effects of distance and atmosphere. No painter is more inadequately set forth by photography. To know Vel?zquez, one must see his works.[58] After Vel?zquez came Murillo (1618-1682), an Andalusian, who well represented the traits of southern Spain. His leading characteristics were a precise, energetic drawing, fresh, harmonious coloring, and a religious sentiment which was a remarkable combination of imaginative idealism, or even supernaturalism, of conception with realism of figures and scenes. His biblical characters were represented by the common people of the streets of Seville. Few painters have more indelibly stamped their works with their own individuality. Last of the masters was Coello (1623?-1694), who maintained the traditions of the Spanish school, though under strong Venetian influence, amidst a flood of baroque paintings which had already begun to corrupt public taste. Other names might well be included in the list of great Spanish painters in this era, such as Pacheco, Roelas, Herrera, and especially Vald?s Leal and Alonso Cano. Indeed, it would be difficult to overestimate the importance of the Spanish school. It is not unthinkable that a list of the ten greatest painters in the history of the world would include the names of Vel?zquez, El Greco, and Murillo, with a place reserved for Goya (of the eighteenth century), and with the claims of Ribera deserving consideration.

[Sidenote: Noteworthy character of Spanish music.]

Spanish music, though not so important in the history of the world as that of Italy or Germany, had a notable development in this period, and displayed an individuality which distinguished it from that of other lands. For the first time it came into a place of its own, apart from recitation


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