Spanish Golden Age

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Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, expanded and embellished in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

The Spanish Golden Age (1580-1680) was similar to the Italian Renaissance, a period of great flourishing in the arts and in literature. The 16th and 17th centuries were also a golden age for Spain in terms of politics, military, wealth, and culture. [1]

Although some might quibble over the exact dates, Spanish literature of the Golden Age (or “Siglo de Oro” in Spanish) usually refers to those works produced in Spain during the 16th and 17th centuries. It is a period that encompasses what is often broadly known–especially in other European countries-- as the Renaissance and the Baroque. [2]

During this Golden Age El Greco, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo and Velázquez painted their masterpieces, and Cervantes wrote "Don Quixote," a great satirical novel. There was also tremendous playwriting by Lope de Vega and acting on stage.

The legacy of "Siglo de Oro" can be found in the many accomplishments of scholars, writers, poets, artists, and playwrights. One of Spain's most famous playwrights, Lope de Vega, established a series of guidelines for dramas. Vega's plays combined tragedy with comedy. Ibidem

Zurbaran, Tazas y vasos, 1633.

See also