Spanish Eclecticism

Spanish Eclecticism

Spanish Eclecticism

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Spanish Eclecticism was a movement among Spanish painters from 1845 to 1890. It was named after the tendency by artists to select from among multiple established styles of that era. A sensibility of relative renewal dominated the rest of Europe, while in Spain, Realism and Impressionism were slow to take hold. The movement is also said to be associated with the idea that models and innovations had run their course.


Detractors consider it to be among the least brilliant periods in Spanish painting, in which there was a highly respectable level of skill, but no significant advancement of the form. This extends as far as the claim that practitioners used enormous canvases, of many meters in surface area, to give importance to something which didn't have any.


Spanish history was a predominant theme, especially from the Middle Ages and the reign of the Catholic Monarchs (Reyes Católicos). Anecdotal and sentimental scenes were the most popular, depicting highpoints of Spanish history with a human perspective, though not venturing beyond the earthly specifics of the subject. The style was frequently boosted by official establishments such as the Salones de Otoño (Salons of Autumn) and the Spanish Academy itself, which was chiefly interested in rigorous drawing and historical documentation.


The subject of landscapes gained prominence with Spanish Romanticism until it became almost exclusive around the time of the Belgian painter Carlos de......
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