EVOLUTION 17c Spanish Profane Baroque . Zoom Class - 28TH or 30TH of January

includes - Lecture, Slideshow & Q&A Session (in English) 

Fee: 10 euros

DATES: January 2021

  • 28TH - THURSDAY @ 5PM (17:00) Madrid time

  • 30TH - SATURDAY @ 10:00AM (10:00 H)

BOOK NOW to Get Your Zoom Link & Password


In this class, we will study the great Spanish Baroque painters who created Profane art that had aesthetic appeal in a non-religious context. We will look at paintings that neither denied or affirmed the existence of God, but focused on human agency. 

The term comes from the Latin compound profanum, literally meaning before or out­side the temple. Profane is also called Secular art because it can be defined as art that has no religious reference points. 
In its most general sense, it means that which is not holy, or that which does not pertain to a place marked off or an object related to religious practice.

Through the study of the art, poetry, philosophy, and science of ancient Greece and Rome, Renaissance humanists revived the notion that man, rather than God, is the measure of all things. The dependence on the Church gave away to the confidence that humans can shape their own individual destinies and the future of the world. 

As the whole of European society was moving away from the dominance of the church, 17th c. Spanish artists started turning towards the profane, depicting ordinary mundane scenes and objects to sell to merchants and enlightened patrons, as another source of revenue.  

We will explore the 17th c Spanish paintings and painters who made money from their profane art by looking and analyzing Mythological themes, Oddities of Nature,  Philosophers and Bodegón still life themes in this class and Historical themes, Portraits and Landscapes in another. 

Fill your mind and your senses...

Karla Ingleton Darocas, Hons.B.A. Fine Arts


Diego Velázquez (1599-1660) was one of the great geniuses of painting. He was a master of the Spanish Baroque style, heir to tenebrism and an inspiration to the Impressionists.

This Sevillian made between 120 or 130 paintings, Las Meninas being the best known worldwide. The bulk of his work were fashioned in the Secular or Profane Baroque with incredible portraits and mythological pieces. 

Report by Karla Darocas, SpainLifestyle.com / KarlaDarocas.com 

Los Borrachos of 1629, was his first mythological work and the most outstanding of his initial stage as the king's painter. It has also been called the Feast of Bacchus and the Triumph of Bacchus. 

Velázquez was already working under the orders of King Felipe IV when he made painting in 1629. His arrival at the palace was not based upon his talents, but on a series of coincidences. The king, who ascended to the crown in 1621, appointed Gaspar de Guzmán (Count-Duke of Olivares), as his right-hand man. Guzmán wanted a court with an Andalusian majority.

This insider information was overheard by Francisco Pacheco, who was Velázquez teacher and father-in-law. Seeing this information as an opportunity, he quickly motivated his contacts to arrange an introduction. 

Velázquez traveled to Madrid for the first time in 1622, with the excuse of getting to know the collection of paintings at the grand palace of El Escorial. He did not achieve his wish to meet the king, so he stayed in the city and studied Titian's paintings. 

In October 1623, Velázquez made a sketch of the king and a subsequent equestrian painting, both works now lost. Finally, the young monarch requested that Velázquez be transferred to Madrid and begin working for him, with a low salary as artists were just staff.

Portrait by portrait, Velázquez gained fame and aroused jealousy within the ranks of the older court artists who accused him of being only capable of painting heads. So, to prove a point, in 1627, Velázquez participated and won a contest against the other three royal painters: Vicente Carducho, Eugenio Cajés and Angelo Nardi. 

A year later he was the most important chamber painter commissioned to paint classic portraits of the royal family and other works to decorate the palaces. Velázquez was allowed to carry out private commissions for third parties, which was a privilege that no other court painter was allowed.

Los Borrachos (The Drunkards) is a piece from that time, for which he was paid 100 ducats from the king's house. The painting shows the god Bacchus together with 7 drunkards at his side.

In Roman literature, Bacchus was the god of wine, the Greek Dionysus, who rewarded men with drink in order to help them to get rid of problems, temporarily. 

This painting, which is in Madrid's Prado Museum, was painted shortly before the artist`s first visit to Italy, barely five years after he began working for the king and at a time when he had just met Rubens. 

Velázquez utilizes a palette, descriptive methods and human types that recall his earlier years in Seville however, The Drunkards has many firsts for the artist.

Here we see the painter showcase his first male nude, a rarity in Spanish art due to the strict Catholic rules. A chubby fellow that dominates the composition, Bacchus shines with youthful luminous skin. Another nude, a satyr, on the left, shows muscle tones and a sideview torso. Hidden, but in plain sight, is another figure in the front left of the frame, who observes the party with is back to us giving us a level of mystery into the mythology.

On the right of the frame, we delight to the rough and ready weathered faces of the everyday folks with their dark-brown capes and drunken expressions. These are the types of faces who dominated his still life genre work in Seville but now they also celebrated by the Baroque literary scene who had scored a best seller picaresque novel in Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. Published in two parts, in 1605 and 1615,  the author highlights characters who are rough, perhaps dishonest, but appealing in a naturalistic way. Perhaps this is why the crown that Bacchus places on the young man`s head is not of grape leaves, like his own, but of the ivy traditionally associated with poets and writers?

The painting is typically Baroque in style with its characters in the middle engaging us with their direct confrontation. The details are clear and the scene is obvious and close, up front in our space, making us explore and marvel. Is it teaching us something moralistic or is it intended to be just a fun and humorous conversation piece for the king? Both I suspect. 

SPANISH BAROQUE - part one - Sacred Themes



In this class we take a painterly look at the evolution of the Baroque genre as it developed in the 17th century. We will look at the earliest Master painters to see how it began and launched the Early Baroque phase, then wind our way through the Full Baroque years to the glorious High Baroque.

By analyzing the painting styles of the Master painters and their schools, we will learn about their new techniques, tricks and secrets to push the genre. 

Also will be explored the Catholic Reformation politics that governed the movement like a propaganda tool to keep the faithful strong and in place. 

However, the Spanish Baroque Master painters were more than just tradesmen working for the cause, they were intelligent, educated and enlightened humanists who knew that their gifts were deserving of dignity and respect. Their brushes were able to do more for the people and themselves than just keeping the church in power.

These visual creator left messages that we are still interpreting today. 



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Watch Latest Updates on Spanish DOGS, the Reviews, the History, the Art, the Dogs, Photos, Vids, free stuff!!
*** Make sure to - LIKE - the Spanish DOGS Facebook Page! 


Greeting SpainLifestyle.com students and friends, 

During the pandemic, I started to research and lecture on dogs in Spanish Fine Arts.
This adventure of information led me down some amazing paths and I found some fabulous stories.
I shared some stories in my Zoom Lessons, over the summer
... and that was fun every Thursday at 5pm.

Anyway... I made it my Mission to Write a HISTORY BOOK and retell some of these most extraordinary tales. Spanish history and culture has a long linage with dogs. Throughout time, humans told stories about dogs with words, art and artefacts. 

I also wanted to add the LIST of Spanish Breeds in English.

The RESULT is 

SPANISH DOGS: The Story of Dogs in Spanish History, Culture & the Arts
by Karla Darocas, Hons. B. A. Spanish Arts Historian, Educator, Journalist

1st Review but many promised... hint, hint.. smile! 

BOOK REVIEW BY Judy Dicken, Scotland

Spanish Dogs is a fabulous journey.

The author, Karla Darocas, had me look at dogs in Spain from the Stone Age through to Modern Day. Along the way she showed me cave drawings, artefacts, pictures and portraits from great masters, depicting man's interaction with dogs.

The result is a fascinating adventure with dogs intertwined with Spanish history and humans. The sad part was the shocking realisation that in many parts of Spain, dogs are not protected and are often badly treated.

This book tells of many interesting and diverse facts that I had never considered before like how Egyptians worshipped a dog-like god, Anubis, and how the Roman legions trained dogs to be warriors and wear fighting armour.

It also explained how both the Greeks and the Romans kept small dogs as pets for their children and often buried the pet dog along with the child, enabling them to be together in the afterlife.

I also learned how the Muslim Conquest of Spain introduced the Berber water dogs that would assist them in fishing and bringing in the nets.

I didn’t know that in Spain during the Renaissance, companion dogs were kept as sleeping partners in order to attract the fleas that were common on Catholics who did not wash because they might be mistaken by the Inquisition as a Muslim and tossed in prison.

It was interesting to see what kind of dogs the Spanish Habsburg Kings kept for hunting and how dogs would aid beggars and blind street performers.

Even into the 19th and 20th centuries, dogs took their place in the portraits of famous people.

I found the whole of this book informative and engrossing. I would recommend it to anyone who loves a good read and interesting humanist knowledge.

NOTE: I only have two books left in this 1st printing, 

 but I will order more after the New Year. 

*** Please let me know if you are interested in a copy. 

And, As with all SpainLifestyle.com History Books.... 

BOOKS . Size A4 . 
Quality . glossy, 
high resolution and large text, 
laminated with white spiral binding. 
*** AVAILABLE NOW in PRINT. 24 euros. 

 If you wish to order, email - info@SpainLifestyle.com 
 Or Call # 648 156 066 if around Benitachell / Moraira / Javea area. 


Thank You. KD **

TOLEDO CATHEDRAL - SpainLifestyle's Last Lesson of the Year 2020 - JOIN the Lecture & Slideshow on Zoom

THE MOST REMARKABLE CATHEDRAL in Spain. This LESSON will make you want to learn more about Toledo and Discover all the reasons why it is a magical place. 


The Cathedral of Santa María began its construction 1226 under the reign of Fernando III of Castile and the last Gothic contributions were made in 1493 by Queen Isabel I de Castilla and King Fernando II de Aragón. The Cathedral is actually built on top of a Visigoth church (587), which was destroyed and replaced by the main mosque of Toledo that stood until 1222. This mosque was destroyed and the cathedral was rebuilt from scratch in a melting pot of styles, including Gothic, Mudéjar and Renaissance.

Its enormous interior is full of the classic characteristics of the gothic style like rose windows, flying buttresses, ribbed vaults and pointed arches.  

The high altar is backed by its altarpiece. This is an extravagant work of art with painted wooden sculptures depicting scenes from the lives of Christ and the Virgin Mary. It is flanked by royal tombs. 

The rose window above the Puerta del Reloj (Clock Entrance) is the oldest of the cathedral's magnificent stainted-glass, which gives a euphoric atmosphere to the space. 

The Transparente, an amazing work of art was created in the 18th c and rewards viewers with a lavish high Baroque style called Churrigueresque. It is illuminated by a specially engineered dome to act as a skylight.

In the centre of the Cathedral is the coro (choir stall) and it is a feast of sculptures and hand carved wooden stalls. The 15th-century lower tier depicts the various stages of the conquest of Granada.

The most remarkable treasure in the Cathedral is the great Processional Monstrance, commissioned by Cardinal Cisneros to Enrique de Arfe in 1515, that holds the Ostensory (inner small monstrance) in its centre. This was acquired by Cardinal Cisneros from the legacy of Queen Isabella the Catholic, and it is said that it was made with the first gold to arrive from America.

We will also explore the Chapter Room and many of the Chapels and so much more!!

There is so much history, beauty, craftmanship, art and artefacts to give you great pleasure.

TOLEDO History & Architecture - PART 2 - Lecture & Slideshow


Toledo continued to be a Royal city with Queen Isabella adding her impressive architecture. This was followed by her grandson Carlos V and his demands to make Toledo an Imperial city.

The humanist element of the Renaissance left its classical mark on the city and its buildings. 

After Phillip II left Toledo to build his own Palace Escorial, Toledo continued as a religious stronghold and ushered in the Baroque era with even more demanding classical statements in architecture.

Toledo one of the most fascinating cities to study Spanish art, architecture, history for students of all ages!

SPANISH DOGS - EBook - The Story of Dogs in Spanish History, Culture & the Arts

About this Book

The history of Spanish dogs comes to life with a collection of essays about related prehistoric artefacts, ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman crafts and Spanish fine arts. Explained are canvases from the Renaissance and the Enlightenment to Modernist times, which have immortalized Spanish dogs, living or mythical, engaged in the lives of their patrons. 

The history of Spain, and its dogs, presents itself in the great works from artistic masters such as Francisco Ribalta, José de Ribera, Diego Velázquez, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Claudio Coello, Francisco de Goya, Carlos Luis de Ribera, Andrés Parladé, Joaquín Sorolla and Pablo Picasso all took to their brushes and canvasses to pay homage and grand affection to the dogs that they portrayed in paint.

In some of these works of art, the dog has been represented as an emblem of fidelity and trust, while in others, the dog is a symbol of power and prestige. In other paintings the dog acts as a metaphor that propels the narrative of the visual tale being told. While in others, the dog is an allegory or reflection of a human emotion or a prophecy. 

The goal is to offer a firm knowledge about our Spanish four footed friends and their footprints in our history.

Hopefully one day, humankind can return to a time when animals are respected as equals with the same rights, freedoms, and protections afforded to humans. 

This book is dedicated to all animal activists and protectors. 

The Story of Dogs in Spanish History, Culture & the Arts

EBOOK - Full color, high resolution...

70 pages, easy download, PayPal Payment

12,00 euros

TOLEDO - History & Architecture - Lecture & Slideshow on ZOOM

The History and Architecture of Toledo before the Catholic Monarchs is rich and expressive. 

Toledo was an important city center to the Celtic Carpetanian tribes until the conquest of the Romans in 193 bc. After the Germanic invasions who expelled the Romans, Toledo would become the capital and main ecclesiastical seat of the Visigothic Kingdom. 

In the year 711, Toledo was conquered by the Muslims, whose rule ended with the taking of the city in 1085 by Alfonso VI. The Middle Ages is when the Jewish community of Toledo was the most populous and rich of the Kingdom of Castile. 

They coexisted for centuries, more or less peacefully, with Muslims and Christians, until the Catholic Monarchs reformations of 1492.


EBOOK - Illustrated Essays About the Marina Alta . OMNIBUS VOL 2.


The Marina Alta Region, within the province of Alicante, holds a wealth of knowledge that is rarely talked about in English tourist books. There are so many attractive and historical landmarks that one would never get to enjoy, if not told about. 

Hence, this collection of essays will bring you into the “know” and aid your exploration and enjoyment of the Marina Alta. 

As with all of my resource books, the goal is to teach you about the artistic, historical and / or architectural information in order to help your appreciation of the marvelous attractions that are before your eyes. 

Artfully Yours,
Karla Ingleton Darocas

NOTE: If you are local to my office in Benitachell, you can either pick it up or we can meet for coffee somewhere. If not, I will take your address and find out from post office how much to ship to you :)


- Teulada’s Fortified Baroque Hermitage Of San Vicente Ferrer

- The Beautiful Baroque Parish Churches Of The Marina Alta * Benimaurell * Campell * Beniarbeig * Parcent * Alcalalí

- The Royal Marsh Is Gandía’s Watery Paradise

- Discover Famous 17th Century Polychrome Busts In Gandía

- A Detailed Guide To Gandía’s Pretty & Important Palace