The Golden Age of Spanish Art

The Spanish art collection of the Museo de Arte de Ponce includes significant examples of paintings and sculptures made in the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

Some of these, including the Immaculate Conception by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, were exhibited at the museum’s first site since its inauguration in 1959.
Throughout the years, and thanks to the advice of key figures in the administration of the museum, notably the renowned Hispanist René Taylor, the collection of Spanish artworks continued to grow. Additionally, during his last years of life, museum founder Luis A. Ferre supported the acquisition of artworks by major Spanish masters, among them Doménikos Theotokópoulos “El Greco,” Francisco de Zurbarán, and Luis de Morales “El Divino.” These artists belong to the era that inspired the name of this exhibition: The Golden Age of Spanish Art.

The artworks in this exhibition are the product of the extraordinary development of the arts that took place in Spain during the second half of the sixteenth century through the seventeenth century. The artists of this period, known as the “Golden Age,” satisfied the demand for religious-themed artworks, such as monumental picture cycles, altarpieces, devotional images for private use, and polychrome wood sculptures, and secular-themed artworks, like portraits and genre scenes. This artistic flourishing was fostered primarily by the Spanish Habsburg monarchy and the religious orders that, framed within the context of the Catholic Counter-Reformation, became the principal patrons in the two most important artistic centers of the Iberian Peninsula: Madrid and Seville.

The Golden Age of Spanish Art includes a representative sample of artworks created during one of the most fruitful eras in the history of art. These artists were admired not only by their contemporaries but also by successive generations of artists and collectors in both Europe and America.