Baroque and the Golden Age

   1. Culture and Baroque in Europe

   - SCIENCES. Knowledge must be based on Reason and Experience, or, in other words, in the spirit of observation and in things which could be demonstrated using the senses.

   + Astronomy. There were four authors: Nicolaus Copernicus, who formulated the heliocentric theory by which the Sun is the center of the universe; Keppler, who studied the orbits of the planets around the Sun; Galileo, who perfected the telescope and Newton, who demonstrated the law of gravity.

   + Mathematics. Its main names are Descartes, with the Analitical geometry and Leibnitz and Newton with the Differential calculus.

   + Physics. Very important figures are Torricelli, with his barometer, and Boyle and Mariotte, with the pressure of gas.

   + Medicine. Michael Servetus demonstrated the minor blood circulation, and Harvey made the same with the high blood circulation.

   + + Philosophy. Bacon created the experimental method and Descartes established a new philosophical system (the cartesianism), based on the doubt method. (See Figure of Descartes).


   + France. Literature was developed by the French Academy. In theatre the main names were Cornielle, Racine and Moliere. Bossuet wrote the Discourse on universal history and Fenelon wrote the Telemachus.

   + England. William Shakespeare is the greatest theater author of all times, and wrote Romeo and Juliet, Othelo, Hamlet and others.

   + Italy. Where the most important figures are Juan Bautista Marini and Juan Bautista Vico.

   - ARTS.

   + France. Classicism triumphed, with an style where the straight line predominates. The best painters are Poussin and Claude Lorrain.

   + Italy. The greatest architect was Bernini with his work Saint Thereza Ecstasy, a beautiful sculpture. In painting two important figures are Dominichino and Caravaggio.

   + The Netherlands. Painting is distingished by the exuberance of forms, and the most important figure is Pieter Paul Reubens. Rembrant was the painter who better captured the chiaroscuro, as in his work The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp. Van Dyck was the most elegant painter of his time.

    2. Answer if the following events and characters are refered to sciences, letters or arts:

The French Academy was founded

Bernini was an architect

Michael Servetus and the minor blood circulation

Claude Lorrain was French

The theatre of William Shakespeare

Newton and the Law of Gravitation

Torricelli's barometer

Cornielle, Racine and Moliere

Rubens and Rembrant

     3. The Spanish Golden Age

   A high level of cultural and artistic interest during the Habsburg Spain produced a great boom called “The Golden Age”.

   - EDUCATION. Printing was developed and many libraries, as the Escorial and Colombina library. Education was developed on many levels:

   + The first years. Town halls and private citizens paid teachers in many villages. Girls studied in nuns’ convents. The Pious Schools are the most important of them.

   + Young age. There were more than 4.000 centres for the study of Grammar, Arts and Humanities.

   + Universitary education. Must be named the universities of Salamanca and Alcala de Henares. (See figure above).

   - LETTERS. This time presented the highest peak in the Spanish letters.

   + In the novel genre, the main figure was Miguel de Cervantes.

   + In poetry, some relevant figures are Boscan, Garcilaso de la Vega, Fray Luis de León, Góngora, Quevedo and the Argensola.

   + In theatre, the best plays are the ones written by Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina, Ruiz de Alarcón and Pedro Calderón de la Barca.

   + The mysticism and asceticism had many relevant authors, like Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Jesus, Fray Luis of Granada and John of Avila.


   + In the study of Nature sciences, we have the names of Molina Caro, author of the book Geometric discoveries; Martín Cortés, who formulated the theory of magnetic poles; astronomer García de Céspedes and the doctor Michael Servetus.

   + Juan de Mariana and Jerónimo Zurita were the most relevant historians.

   + In Laws, the main figure was Francisco de Vitoria.

    4. Choose if the following statements are about education, letters or sciences:

Town hall paid teachers

Jeronimo Zurita was an historian

The main figure was Cervantes

Doctor Michael Servetus

Poets like Gongora and Quevedo

The Pious Schools were very important

There were over 4000 schools for young people

Martín Cortés and the magnetic poles

The mystic Saint John of the Cross

     5. Arts in the Golden Age

   They are characterized by their magnificence and religious beliefs.

   - ARCHITECTURE. There are two different styles:

   + Herreran style, with the following features: it is magnificent and severe, with large domes and little decoration. The most relevant work is the monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial, built to commemorate the victory of Saint Quintin battle. It was finished by Juan de Herrera. It is considered by some people the eighth wonder of the world.

  + Churrigueresque style, characterized by its numerous richly ornamented elements, like foliage, flowers, shields, shelves, etc. An important name is José Churriguera, who gave its name to the style and made works like the altarpiece of Saint Stephen, in Salamanca. Another figure was the architect Pedro Ribera.


   + The Italian school, represented by Alonso Berruguete and Juan de Juni.

   + The naturalist reaction , with great realism and piety. Main figures are Gregorio Hernández, with the processional floats from Valladolid; Juan Martínez Montañés, sculptor of statues of Christ; and Alonso Cano in Granada.

   - PAINTING. There are three schools:

   +Valencian school, with José Ribera, "el Españoleto" (“the Spaniard”), with The martyrdom of St. Bartholomew.

   + Castillian school, with its two main figures: El Greco and Velazquez. El Greco is the painter who better expressed the castillian spirituality, with works as Burial of Count Orgaz and Nobleman with a hand on his chest. Don Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez is one of the best painters in the world. He made paintings as Drunkards, Vulcan at his forge, The Maids of honour (see figure)and The Spinners.

   + Andalusian school. The most important painters were Zurbarán, Valdés Leal and Murillo.

     6. Write if the following names are involved in architecture, sculpture or painting.

The Herrerian style

Alonso Berruguete and Juan de Juni

Churrigueresque style

El Greco and Velazquez

Juan de Herrera

Gregorio Hernández

José Ribera "el Españoleto"(“the Spaniard”)

Alonso Cano, from Granada

Zurbarán and Murillo

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ÿArturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999
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