JOSÉ de RIBERA: The Baroque Master of Grace and Grandeur

This class will cover the complete works of José de Ribera, along with the history of the artist and his times. Ribera is considered one of the finest late Spanish Renaissance painters who didn't even live in Spain.

Ribera was born in Xativa, near Valencia as Jusepe de Ribera (1591-1652). He studied with the Valencian painter, Francisco Ribalta (1565-1628) before heading to Italy; first Parma, Padua, and probably Venice and then Rome from 1613-16.

GLORIOUS GANDIA

This Class explores the History of Gandia from its early beginnings through to its modern transformations by exploring its royalty, nobles, arts, crafts, trades and architectural buildings and monuments.

A GENUINE MIRACLE OF NATURE * La Mujer Barbuda by Jusepe de Ribera


Since returning from our fabulous four day SpainLifestyle Renaissance Road Trip, lots of my friends and colleagues have been asking me as to what was the highlight of this trip?

DIEGO VELÁZQUEZ

In this class, students will explore the complete works of Diego Velázquez's as well as his time in history as the most prestigious court painter for Spain's Habsburg King - Philip IV. Students will discover why he became the leader of the Spanish Baroque period and is still celebrated as Spain's most revolutionary portrait painter today. 


ISABELLA I * SPAIN'S GOTHIC WARRIOR QUEEN



In this class, we analyse, investigate and marvel at the life and times of this Gothic warrior Queen of Castile, Isabella I.
She was the driving force of 15th-century Spanish culture and politics. Also known as Isabel la Católica, a title granted to her by Pope Alexander VI, Isabella reorganized the governmental system, brought the crime rate to the lowest it had been in years, unburdened the kingdom of its enormous debt, completed the "Reconquista" by taking the rest of Spain for the Spanish crown, ordered the conversion or exile of Muslim and Jewish citizens, and financially supported Christopher Columbus's in his 1492 voyage that led to the opening of the New World establishing Spain as the first global super power, which dominated Europe and much of the world for more than a century.

TRIBUTE TO VICTORIOUS VALENCIA CITY

This class explores the vast array of architectural treasures in the grand city of Valencia making it a very special place since the time of the Romans. It really excels with the wealth of traders, nobles and royalty in the medieval era.  The marvelous manifestation of man and creation come to life in the facades and interiors of churches, convents, monasteries and secular buildings and palaces of Valencia city branding it as the 2nd most important city in Spain. 



A TRIBUTE TO A VICTORIOUS VALENCIANO - José de Ribera (1591-1652)

When I lived in Xàtiva back in 2001, the town where my husband was born, I walked by the statue of José de Ribera everyday. Our apartment was on the same street as the Basilica and the old hospital, where my husband was born, and at the other end was the statue of José de Ribera or Jusepe as he is know in the Valencian language.

José de Ribera was also born in Xàtiva but in 1591. His father's name was Simón Ribera, a shoemaker by profession, and his mother was Margarita Cucó. While there are many documentary and bibliographical sources detailing many aspects of Ribera's life and work, there is nothing about his childhood and youth in Xàtiva.



UNDERSTANDING SPANISH ROYAL RENAISSANCE ARCHITECTURE !

In this class, students will learn how Spain in the late 1400'a and all of the 1500's century grew both politically and economically making it viable to construct remarkable buildings. Explored will be the details of the different styles that evolved as well as the motivations and philosophies, even secrets and scandals, behind their developments.


MEET THE ARTIST EVENT * Robert E Sapsford *

THANK YOU TO ALL who came along to the MEET THE ARTIST EVENT * with guest artist ROBERT E SAPSFORD on Friday 10TH at Darocas Studio.

Robert shared his humble journey as a youth with desires to be an artist but he faced many challenges. His presentation slideshow was very impressive with a vast array of complex paintings in oils and acrylics.
We all mingled, drank coffee and ate sponge cake too.

Make sure you JOIN the SpainLifestyle.com mailer to get your invite to the next event.


Report About Robert E Sapsford by Karla Darocas for SpainLifestyle.com


THE MEDIEVAL GOTHIC GLORY OF XÀBIA / JÁVEA

The Only Illustrated Guidebook about the Muslim and Catholic Medieval History and Architecture of XÀBIA / JÁVEA.


  • Learn about the people who made the village possible and helped to give it glory. 
  • Marvel at amazing construction methods and designs of early builders, architects, stone masons and craftsmen. 
  •  Included are a variety of interesting regional cultural and religious traditions which are important to all who live in the area.



*Click pic to enlarge*


THE DEVELOPMENT AND PRIDE OF VALENCIAN GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE



This class explores the most well preserved and famous examples of Valencian Gothic temples and civic buildings in the province. Valencian Gothic architecture developed during the 14th century and reached its maturity and maximum expression in the 15th century, showcasing its own artistic style and characteristics, which developed and grew based on existing Mediterranean constructive systems and architectural arrangements already used by the Romans and Arabs rather than adopt the novel architectural styles from northern France.



GUIDEBOOK TO THE MEDIEVAL GOTHIC GLORY OF XÀBIA / JÁVEA


Recently released by Fine Arts Historian Karla Darocas, Hons. B. A., it is a beautiful glossy detailed guidebook about the history and architecture of this coastal town with stunning photos and information starting in the 11th century up to the 17th century.


THE LURE OF THE LIGHT * Joaquín Sorolla


20th Century Spanish painter, Sorolla excelled in the painting of portraits, landscapes, and monumental works of social and historical themes.  His most typical works are characterized by a dexterous representation of the people and landscape under the bright sunlight of his native Valencia and sunlit water.

This class has all of Sorolla's most famous artworks explained plus also a special emphasis on the unique elements and techniques of Spanish Impressionism and the remarkable artworks from his holidays in Xàbia  / Jávea.

THE DALI EXPERIENCE

Taught only once a year, so make sure you are on the Notices Lists... JOIN HERE



BENISSA HAS A NEO-GOTHIC TREASURE


Benissa is one of those hidden treasure towns that resides on the Costa Blanca. You must find the parking lot on the backside of the town, get out of your car and begin your journey.

PICASSO'S PERVASIVE MOTHER AND CHILD PAINTINGS

The most consistently reproduced subject in all of art history, especially Western art, is the theme of the Mother and Child. The earliest recorded representation and most recognised Mother and Child is the Byzantine icon of Mary and Jesus. These icon paintings were worshipped by both Catholic and Orthodox churches.

Picasso was raised Catholic and knew the emotive power of the Mother and Child image. These works throughout his life are some of my favourites. They are all different, depending on what visual form he was experimenting with. 

Let’s take a look at a couple of them and contemplate Picasso’s diverse styles added to this powerful, universal theme of Mother and Child.

GRAND SCALE CHURCH BRINGS CLASSICAL BEAUTY AND HISTORICAL LEGACY TO OLIVA

FRONT and BACK
Oliva is a lovely and vibrate town on the edge of the Valencian province in the Safor territory that has a very beautiful, classy and colossal neo-classical church in its core.

The parish Church of Santa María la Mayor represents the historical, cultural and intellectual evolution of the Valencia region in its architecture.


BEAUTIFUL BAROQUE MASTERPIECE SHOWS OFF ITS ARTISTIC PECULIARITY IN PEDREGUER


In Pedreguer sits the Parish Church of the Holy Cross (Iglesia de la Santa Cruz). It has taken me several months to get inside this church, as I kept going at the wrong times. It is a popular church and not a tourist monument, so one must go when it is open for the congregation to enjoy their mid day mass. I have discovered that 11:30 is the best time to get inside these historical works of artistic architectural brilliance.

When I arrived, a well dressed elderly lady took my hand and asked my interest in "her" church. I explained that I was a fine arts historian and teacher upon which she welcomed me and explained that "her" church was "very important".

I agreed and began my search to find out the artistic secret that makes this church so famous!

VALENCIAN BAROQUE MASTERWORK BOASTS GREATEST FRESCO ART IN SPAIN


The Parish Church of San Nicolás de Bari and San Pedro Mártir in Valencia is home to one of the greatest wonders of fresco painting that Spain has to offer.  This historical parish church is located in the city center and because of an extensive restoration in 2016, this church of worship has now become a tourist and cultural showcase that is being hailed as "The Sistine Chapel of Valencia".

This accolade is not completely logical because San Nicolás is a church with a single nave of six sections, twelve buttress side chapels (two of them are occupied by lateral entrance doors) and a glorious polygonal presbytery facing east. The Sistine Chapel, on the other hand is only a single "chapel" in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope (Vatican City).

In any case, one statement holds truth in the fact that San Nicolás is indeed one of the best examples of the coexistence of 15th century Valenician Gothic architecture revamped into a 17th century spectacular Valencian Baroque masterpiece.


MARVEL IN THE MYSTERY AND FACE THE FAMOUS RELIC OF ALICANTE


Spain is indeed a marvelous place to explore religious relics. An adventurous traveler does not need to be absolutely devoted to a relic to discover its resting place, however on your journey you can be enlightened by the marvelous art and architecture that surrounds it.

One such great example, is the Catholic relic of the Santa Faz (Holy Face) protected and venerated in the Santa Faz monastery, which is located in the municipal district of Alicante city called Santa Faz. This relic is the object of a yearly pilgrimage, which gathers more than 260,000 relic friendly folks.

Since visiting monasteries and relic hunting are both great ways to spend a Sunday morning, off I went to witness the historical past and marvel in some mystery for myself.

PONDER PROVINCIAL PRIDE FROM MEDIEVAL TO MODERN IN MURLA



Castle fortress and architecture aficionados will truly enjoy a trip into the mountains of the Marina Alta for a closeup look at a proudly preserved parish church that speaks to a precarious medieval past. Documents state that this castle/fort became a Christian parish church in 1317.

Murla's architectural structures range from medieval to modern and its historical past has been plagued with cultural and structural grievances. This all combines to make Mural a very interesting place to visit.

DECORATIVE AND DISTINCTLY HISPANIC IN SUECA


One of the most original, romantic and stylishly Spanish architectural genres of the late 19th century modernist movement is the decorative and distinctly Hispanic "Neomudéjar" style. Its enduring characteristic use of bricks, as the main constructive element, gives this architectural method its versatility and the power to be pretty.


ANNA'S SPECTACULAR STRUCTURE IS A SERIES OF HISTORICAL MILESTONES


Anna is a peaceful town in the Valencian hinterland along the Sellent river. It is a pleasant village away from everything and everyone where you can easily walk about seeking unpretentious scenic spaces. What you will find are lots of life affirming water channels crossing streets and sprouting forth from fountains. This abundance of multiple water sources gives origin to this town's Almohade name of "Yanna ", which means "water garden".

There is however, a spectacular grandiose structure of a castle palace that is an architectural milestone of continuous glorious history and purposeful restoration. Once a dilapidated worthless structure, today the Counts of Cervelló Palace is a prominent vestige of Anna's past and pride.

The history of this special palace marks a pendulum of abandonment and restoration as it moved from one famous owner to another and finally to a devoted town mayor whose actions from 1995 to 2007 give us the marvel that we explore today.


JUAN DE RIBERA * ARCHITECT OF EVICTION


Juan de Ribera (b1532-d1611) was the archbishop and viceroy of Valencia.

He used all of his civil and religious power to pressure Philip III towards the expulsion of the Moriscos, which was carried out in 1609.

Ribera despised the moriscos as heretics and traitors, a dislike he shared with much of Valencia's Christian populace.


FABULOUS FLAMBOYANT GOTHIC CLOISTER * CONVENT OF SANT DOMINGO


The convent of Sant Doménec or Sant Domingo is one of the most important Gothic monuments in the city of Valencia.


THE UNSOLVED MYSTERY OF GOYA'S MISSING SKULL

THE ENIGMA

Dionisio Fierros (1827-1894 ) was a Spanish Romantic painter who in 1849 painted a "vanitas", an allegorical still life, for the Marquis of San Adrián of Navarra.


EL GRECO * The Master of Mystery



This class explores the life and art of El Greco, a Greek artist whose painting and sculpture helped define the early Spanish Renaissance. His dedication to the mystery of existence and his rebellious style influenced various artistic movements such as Expressionism and Cubism.

TRIBUTE TO TOLEDO * PART 2


TRIBUTE TO TOLEDO * PART TWO
is a presentation (lecture and slideshow) about the Renaissance - Golden Age history of Toledo explored through its cultural evolutions, arts and architecture. 
Presented by Spanish Fine Arts & Architecture Historian, 
Karla Darocas, Hons. B.A. (KarlaDarocas.com)

TRIBUTE TO TOLEDO * PART 1




TRIBUTE TO TOLEDO * PART ONE
is a presentation (lecture and slideshow) about the Antiquity & Medieval history of Toledo explored through its cultural evolutions, arts and architecture. 
Presented by Spanish Fine Arts & Architecture Historian, 
Karla Darocas, Hons. B.A. 

FRIDA KAHLO

Frida Kahlo made her own face famous by painting a seemingly endless series of self-portraits that span over her 30-year career.



REMEDIOS VARO


Remedios Varo was a visionary painter who placed herself in the center of her own narratives. Inspired to learn more about the human experience and promote a balance and interconnection with the universe, her visions reflect herself engaged in magical work - embarking and unlocking the divine.