A new spirituality for a time of crisis. The social instability of the time permeates artistic and literary forms. The Council of Trent (1545-1563) and the Counter-Reformation signalled a change of direction in religious ideas. Christian spirituality, instead of the pre-eminence of man, once again reclaimed its place as the driving force behind the era of the Renaissance. The economic decline and unrest prevailing in the second half of the 16th and 17th centuries gave rise to a climate of unease and social instability. This pervaded all forms of cultural endeavour and suffused both artistic and musical creations. Columns, silhouettes and musical scores became increasingly ornate and convoluted. In literary endeavour, this is the great period of Spanish classical theatre, the maturity of poetry and, with Don Quixote, the birth of the modern novel.
The Family of Philip IV, or Las Meninas - Velázquez’s most famous painting highlights his skilful use of perspective and light, and the representation of the atmosphere. See more
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