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Baltasar Gracián

  • Baltasar Gracián © J. Bedmar/Iberfoto

    Baltasar Gracián © J. Bedmar/Iberfoto






Date of birth

Jan 8, 1601

Date of death


" Writer from the Spanish Golden Age. His work compares favourably with some of the outstanding works of European thought such as Machiavelli's 'The Prince', or with supreme works of literary merit such as 'Don Quixote' and 'La Celestina'."

Baltasar Gracián y Morales was born in Belmonte de Gracián in 1601 and died in Tarazona in 1658. The son of a civil servant, he studied at the Jesuit college in Calatayud and at the University of Huesca. In 1619 he joined the Company of Jesus. He was ordained a priest in 1635. He was confessor to the Viceroy Nochera, whom he accompanied to Madrid where he became friends with the poet Hurtado de Mendoza. His enemies within the Jesuit order saw to it that he was sent in punishment to Lerida to quash the Catalan revolt. He was briefly secretary to Philip IV. His health declined after a long period of punishment on a diet of bread and water imposed by Jacinto Piquer, the provincial of Aragon (the religious superior of a province). The influence of his work, elegant and pessimistic, persisted until post-modern times.

Essential works

  • Work of culture - Generic image

    The Critic

    Novel by Baltasar Gracián of a quality comparable to "Don Quixote" or "La Celestina", in which the author offers his vision of the world as an educational example for modern man.

    More info

Other highlighted works

  • Agudeza y arte del ingenio
  • El Político
  • Oráculo manual y arte de prudencia
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