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.


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. 


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 superpower, which dominated Europe and much of the world for more than a century.


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. 


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 mailer to get your invite to the next event.

Report About Robert E Sapsford by Karla Darocas for

The Medieval Gothic Glory Of Xàbia / Jávea - About Book



Xàbia (Valencian language) or Jávea (Castilian language) is a Valencian coastal town in the Marina Alta region (Alicante). 

Historically, it is a town that has always been in a privileged and strategic eastern Mediterranean location. 

Many diverse cultures have populated and enjoyed this exclusive spot including the Stone and Bronze-age peoples, Romans, Greeks, Phoenicians, Visigoths, Germanic, Carthaginians, North African Muslims, and of course Roman Catholics. 

This book shares the growth of Jávea from the early Muslim settlers, who brought their farming and building techniques, through to the Medieval Catholic era with the major emphasis on the importance of its Gothic architecture. 


Karla Ingleton Darocas is Canadian married to a Spaniard and based in Benitachell on Spain's Costa Blanca. She is an educator with a passion to inspire and facilitate a lust to learn. Her love of Spanish art, architecture, and history is infectious, and she attracts art lovers to her lectures. 

Other Information & Resource by Author 

READ Interview with the Author - CLICK HERE


Muslim Era 4
The Muslim Model 5
Garden Of Plenty 6
Jaime I - The Conquistador 9
Conquest Of Denia 11
Alfonso I 13
Alfonso Ii 14
Juan Ii 15
Diego Gómez De Sandoval Y Rojas 16
Fernando De Sandoval Y Rojas 16
Diego Gómez De Sandoval Y Rojas 17
Bernardo De Sandoval 17
Fortified Parish Church Of San Bartolomé 19
Enlarging And Designing 20
Architectural Features 22
Fortifications 22
Tower 23
The Portals 24
The Portal Of San Bartolomé 25
Patron Shields 27
Gargoyles 28
Portal Of San Gill 29
Church Interior 30
Star Vaults / Pillars / Keystones 31
Complex Star Vaults 32
Windows 32
Hospital Chapel Of Santa Anna 34
Palau De La Sapena (Sapena Palace) 36
Architectural Details 37
Carpanel Loggia Arches 39
Window * Ajimez (Arabic) Or Biforada (Catalan) 40
Window * Ogee Or Conopial (Catalan) 41
Interior Window & Entrance 42
A Touch Of Italy 43
Mercado Municipal De Abastos  
(Municipal Supplies Market) 45
Overall Plan 46
Interior 47
Exterior 48
Conclusion 50


“I have been here almost 30 years and was absolutely delighted to have more in-depth information on the history of Javea. A great presentation and written in a style very clear and precise! Thank you, Karla, for such a very interesting book! Congratulations loved it!!!” 
 - Diana Santiago, Javea 

 “I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Karla's first book on the history and architecture of Jávea. It reads as Karla lectures, with enthusiasm, knowledge, and fun. This is a must for anyone interested in knowing more about how Jávea has changed over time. I have ordered more to give as Christmas presents and what a fabulous addition to being put into rental properties. I love the knowledge I have gained from reading this book. A great read.” 
 - Lizzie Clayton, Benitachell


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.

CLOTILDE: Sorolla's Cornerstone / Tribute - BOOKS


About the Book

Clotilde García del Castillo (Valencia, 1865 - Madrid, 1929) was more than just the wife of the famed Valencian painter Joaquín Sorolla (Valencia, 1863 - Cercedilla, 1923). 

She was the mother of his children, his social secretary, and his emotional support person. She was his painter's model, business partner, and marketing manager. Clotilde was the mastermind, compass, and keyholder to his social elevation and success. 

It is through letters, photographs, and paintings, that Clotilde’s personality shines. Laid bare are her commitments to her family, society, and business, while never losing her passionate love and belief in her husband. 

This biographical story highlights Clotilde as a 20th-century Spanish woman living a life that many women of that era, could only dream of. She was loved and adored by her husband. She was his cornerstone.


Karla Ingleton Darocas is Canadian married to a Spaniard and based in Benitachell on Spain's Costa Blanca. She is an educator with a passion to inspire and facilitate a lust to learn. Her love of Spanish art, architecture, and history is infectious, and she attracts art lovers to her lectures. 

Her websites are 


  • Introduction 2
  • In The Beginning 4
  • Love United 5
  • Family Time 5
  • Responsibilities 7
  • Travel 9
  • America 13
  • New Home and Studio 18
  • The End of An Era 26
  • Life After Sorolla 29
  • In Conclusion: 31


Interview with Karla Darocas, Hons. B.A. Fine Arts Historian, Educator, Researcher, Journalist, Photographer by Steve Hall, owner/publisher of  THIS IS SPAIN


** How did this educational book idea come about?

I have been teaching Spanish history and architecture for a long time and I was getting frustrated that there were no books in English that I could refer my students towards.

I normally teach with a slideshow in a classroom situation, however, last year I decided to take my students on a “walkabout” in Xàbia / Jávea, and lecture while actually looking at the real buildings.

After these events, I was asked to prepare a textbook with detailed information and photographs of this walking lecture.

** Did you learn anything new?

Yes. I was surprised that by going deeper into the past of the area and talking with the local museum curator, I was able to find out many other fascinating details.

** How did you structure it?

I started in 1010 with the rise of the Muslim population taking over and ruling in the Marina Alta region from their stronghold in Dénia.

Then I advanced to the Christian era with a look at the royal conquest and subsequent Nobel rulers.

All the way through, I detail the various construction methods, architectural designs and decorative details of the Gothic era in Xàbia There are no websites in English that really explain anything of value. They just copy each other and do not give a true representation of the importance and glory of Xàbia.

** Have you created something unique?

Yes. There is no other book like it out there in the world. Believe me… I have looked.

I created something that will serve my students well in their enlightenment towards historical truth and architectural reality, not just of Xàbia, but of the region and Spain at large.



Benissa is one of those hidden treasures to be found on the Costa Blanca. You need to find the car park at the back of town, get out of your car and start your journey.

* Report by Karla Ingleton Darocas, Hons. B.A. (c) no part of this text or photographs may be reproduced


The most frequently reproduced motif throughout the history of art, especially in Western art, is the subject of the mother with child. The earliest recorded depiction and the best known Mother and Child is the Byzantine icon of Mary and Jesus. These icon images were venerated by both the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

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

Let us take a look at a few of them and consider Picasso's different styles that he added to this powerful, universal theme of mother and child.

** Report by Karla Darocas, Hon. B.A. (
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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.


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. (


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.