These painters and paintings were mainly concerned with imaginary landscapes and folkloric customs, largely devoid of social criticism. Much of their market was to foreigners for whom Andalusia epitomized their vision of a Spain as being exotic and distinct from the rest of Europe. 

In Seville and Cádiz there was a large foreign colony, especially British diplomats and their families, that, to a great extent, determined the pictorial production. These clients wanted paintings of Spanish families dressed in typical Spanish costumes with typical motifs in the background, such as the Giralda bell tower of Seville’s Cathedral or the Alhambra. These Romantic souvenirs of folk themes and scenes of pilgrimages, bandits, gypsies, musicians, bullfighters, dancers and so on, were in high demand.

The "Romantic Myth" about Spain was also propagated by foreign writers and painters such as Washington Irving, Richard Ford, Théophile Gautier, Alexandre Dumas, David Roberts, John Frederick Lewis, Alfred Dehodencq and Gustave Doré who developed their own image of Spanish culture, which in turn influenced the first Andalusian romantic painters. 

Local buyers were focused more on paintings that showed the progress of their cities like Cadiz, which grew into a thriving metropolis. It became the national reference of a new society with modernisation and development that promoted new ideologies for the 19th century. The city played an important role as a bourgeoisie society with its emergence and dissemination of liberal ideas.



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

Fee: 10 euros


22nd - THURSDAY @ 5PM (17:00) Madrid time

24th - SATURDAY @ 10:00AM (10:00 H)

BOOK NOW to Get Your Zoom Link & Password

SPANISH ROMANTICISM - OVERVIEW by Karla Darocas ( KarlaDarocas.com )

The term “Romanticism” is based on the Latin expression, “in lingua Romana” , which alludes to the Romance languages, the vernacular language which represented a cultural identity. This distinguishes the movement away from classical antiquity and shifts it towards a more subjective perspective.

At the beginning of the era, the Spanish War of Independence was the first romantic war in history because it was carried out by individual people organised into “guerrillas”,  small independent groups taking part in a fight against a foreign invader. 

Ironically, this desire to defend the homeland against a foreign invader was actually an idea instilled by France, the Enlightenment movement and Napoleon himself. When Napoleon entered Spain, he was under the illusion that the Spanish people were ready to be liberated from their oppressive church and state, except no one told the Spanish. However, it did spark the early fruits of a popular idealistic romanticism that produced the first Spanish Constitution, promulgated in Cádiz in 1812. 

The appearance of Romanticism in Spain was conditioned by the escalation of the bourgeoisie; a social class that had made itself rise up in the face of the domination of the aristocracy. This class gave value and worth to the concepts of individuality and subjectivity. The bourgeoisie evolved their own ideology, liberalism, as well as a very determined political sentiment, nationalism. 

Spanish Romanticism in general terms defines itself as a bourgeois art: dependent on the individual, subjective and imaginative and yet oriented on the value of a once powerful nation.

The Carlist Wars were a series of civil revolts regarding succession to the throne upon the death of Fernando VII. The liberal factions were aligned with the firstborn daughter of the King, Isabel, and her mother, the Queen Regent María Cristina, while the absolutist traditionalists backed Fernando’s brother, Carlos María Isidro.

These debates and conflicts shook Spain throughout the 19th century by opposing political principles. The Carlists fought under the slogan "God, Fatherland and King", causing a reactionary opposition to liberalism and defense of the traditional monarchy, the rights of the Church and regional charters. The liberals, on the other hand, demanded deep political reforms through a constitutional and parliamentary government. 

Hence, we find two polarizing principals which outline Spanish Romantic painting during the first half of the 19th century.

History, as a romantic ideal defining an intellectual movement. Its aim was to exalt past national values, specifically from the Baroque / Golden Age, which was the zenith of Spanish culture and genius. 

Progress, also a romantic ideal, reflected in satirical humour, liberal idealism, imagination freedom, social change, and a rebellion against the restorative tendencies of Fernando VII.



we will take a look at the visual evolution of the Neoclassical style of painting in Spain from the mid 18th to early 19th century. Explored will be the most important painters of the era and their defining works. Also, explained will be the elements that characterize the Spanish neoclassical as an academic standard that would prevail until the modern era. 

 INTRODUCTION by Karla Darocas, Hons. B.A. Fine Arts

TRIBUTE - Spain's Royal Neoclassical Architecture & Monuments - MARCH 25TH - THURSDAY @ 5PM (17:00) or 27TH - SATURDAY @ 10:00AM (10:00 H)


In this class we will explore and analyze the Royal neoclassical architecture and monuments that continue to make their statements in the capital and around the country. The most iconic buildings and sightseeing attractions come from this era.


INTRODUCTION by Karla Darocas, Hons. B. A.

The 18th Century Rise & Fall of the Rococo Style in Spain

In this class
will look at the historical transformations that gave rise to the Rococo style in 18th century Spain. We will analyze the characteristics of the Rococo style and where in Spain it can still be seen today. Explored will be the materials used to achieve its stylish designs, found both in architecture and interiors and also what ornamental themes were popular. We will also examine the shift in colour palettes, themes and painting materials used to achieve the distinction derived in Rococo artworks.

INTRODUCTION by Karla Darocas

Under the new French crown, Spain began its transformation with the reign of Felipe V (1700-1746). This first Bourbon King decided to take some small steps towards engaging in the Enlightenment movement. 

17th Century Evolution of Spanish Classical Landscapes

ABOUT this Class

This class explores the evolution of the Baroque 17th century classical landscape.

These landscapes were influenced by classical antiquity and the desire to illustrate an ideal landscape recalling Arcadia, a legendary place in Ancient Greece known for its pastoral beauty.

However, in the beginning of the 17th century in Spain, landscapes were not considered an artistic genre but simply a backdrop for military, hunting and equestrian paintings to fill the Hall of Kingdoms (Realms) within the Buen Retiro palace of the King Felipe IV. 

Buen Retiro was the recreational palace devised by Gaspar de Guzmán, 3rd Count of Olivares, who was the disastrous, highly unsuccessful and egoist prime minister of Felipe IV from 1621 to 1643. 

Guzmán decided that Felipe IV needed a new hall to preside over court ceremonies and that it should be filled with courtly portraits of the House of Habsburg plus battle scenes in which the Spanish troops were victorious. These paintings were crafted to affirm the power of the monarchy.

It is not until Spanish artists got a glimpse at what was happening in northern Europe, with the advent of the Protestant reform simultaneously evolving with the development of capitalism, that classical landscapes, like the still life genre before, was considered a viable genre to paint.

17th Century Spanish Royal Portraits, Painters & Fashion


The goal of this class is to introduce students to the different types of 17th century Spanish portrait painters and paintings focusing on the three monarchs and their families that ruled throughout the Baroque period. We will also take a look at the changing fashion trends of their royals as we move through the era. Please make sure that you read the introduction to this class before you attend the class.


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


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 

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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