Fundamental Aspects of Spanish Art

Universidad Antonio de Nebrija

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Fundamental Aspects of Spanish Art

  • Host University

    Universidad Antonio de Nebrija

  • Location

    Madrid, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Art History, European Studies, History, Studio Art

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course: Fundamental Aspects of Spanish art
    Course number: CH3191
    ECTS credits: 6
    Prerequisites: None

    This course will analyze main artistic manifestations in Painting in Madrid and will
    provide you with the tools to identify, classify, understand, criticize and appreciate the
    most relevant Spanish art works, particularly those to be found in Madrid.
    You will have the opportunity to learn by seeing, feeling, living the art and its
    expressions in Madrid as you study the painted art works in situ. To this end, you will
    explore the most relevant museums in Madrid that hold the artistic expressions of the
    painters studied in this course. In your study of painting you will be able to recognize
    and personally analyze the most important works of Spanish painters such as El
    Greco, Velázquez, and Goya in the magnificent Prado Museum; and Picasso, Dalí,
    Miró, and other contemporary authors at the Centro de Arte Museo Reina Sofía.

    Learning outcomes

    -to classify the main artistic movements into their correspondent historical
    -to acquire and employ technical glossary on materials, art tools, styles,
    -to critically analyze a work of art
    -to generate comparisons between international styles and artists
    -to be able to expound (orally and written) art concepts in an organized way

    Educational Activities

    Educational activities will be developed by means of different didactic strategies:
    -Theory and Practica
    -Collective and individual tutoring
    -In-class presentations
    -Daily assignments
    -Team work assignments
    -Workshops and additional training
    -Extra-learning activities: field trips

    Attending Hours: 45 hours


    The majority of the course syllabus follows the main methodological guidelines of the
    Communicative Approach, based on the core principles of procedure conception and
    constructive acquisition of knowledge. The methodology is based on the teachinglearning
    procedures, focused on the learner, which encourages active participation
    and results in the development of general and specific competencies that prove
    knowledge, capacities and attitudes for their future professional careers.

    Form of Assessment

    The form of assessment is based on the core principles of the educational
    assessment, i.e., an active and participative teaching-learning process focused on the
    learner. The instructor will use numerous and differentiated forms of assessment to
    calculate the final grade you receive for this course. For the record, these are listed
    and weighted below. The content, criteria and specific requirements for each
    assessment category will be explained in greater detail in class.

    The final grade consists of three parts: class participation, daily work and exams

    o 33% Active in-class participation
    o 33% daily work
    o 34% exams

    Grading Scale goes from 0 to 10.

    Numerical Grade Range Letter grade Percentage
    10 A+ 100%
    9.5 ? 9.9 A 95 -99%
    9 ? 9.4 A- 90-94%
    8.5 ? 8.9 B+ 85-89%
    7.5- 8.4 B 75-84%
    7 ? 7.4 B- 70-74%
    6.5 ? 6.9 C+ 65-69%
    6 ? 6.4 C 60-64%
    5 ? 5.9 C- 5-59%
    0-4.9 F 0-49%

    The final grade will be the average of active in-class participation, daily work and

    Attendance Policy

    Attendance is compulsory. In order to excuse any absence, students have to deliver a
    doctor?s note or any valid justification.
    An absence is equivalent to a session. Two delays of more than 15 minutes will be
    considered as an absence.

    Any unjustified absence will affect negatively students? final grade by dropping their
    participation grade.

    Participation grade will be dropped in the following way:

    3 unjustified absences - 30%
    4 unjustified absences - 40%
    5 unjustified absences - 50%

    If a student has more than 5 unjustified absences, the PARTICIPATION GRADE will
    zero (0).

    Any student with 7 or more absences will NOT pass the course. Those students
    whose absences have been properly justified will get No presentado (N.P). Absences
    do NOT excuse the fulfillment of tasks, papers or essays.

    Active Participation

    The methodology used in class demands from the student a daily participation in the
    following aspects:

    To answer the questions done in class;
    To establish debates about the topics in class;
    To relate the actual politics with past history;
    To analyze the class slides.

    Criteria for Assessing Class Participation Grade

    The student very often contributes with important and original comments that
    encourage debate, using critical and analytical arguments clearly based on reading,
    investigation, daily work, and class work. 8.5-10

    The student frequently participates voluntarily and makes valuable contributions that
    are generally based on reflection and daily work 7-8.4

    The student makes eventual comments, practically only when asked, and shows no
    clear interest in the course. The student does not start a debate nor shows a clear
    understanding of the importance of class/homework and readings. 5- 6.9

    The student makes no comments at all, or makes irrelevant or distracting ones during
    class. This is usually a result from frequent absences or lack of preparation for the
    class. 0-4.9

    Daily Work

    Daily work will be made up of a variety of assignments, readings and researches to be
    done after class.

    Exams /Presentations/Essays
    There will be a Mid-term exam and a Final exam. Written or oral format could be
    possible as well as presentations regarding the specific features of the course.
    If any student does NOT take an exam, deliver a paper or attend to any presentation,
    they will get a grade of zero (0) in this part.

    * A warning on plagiarism. When writing a research paper or an essay exam you
    must identify your intellectual indebtedness to the authors you have read. This can be
    done through footnotes, bibliography, or by making a direct reference to the scholar or
    author in question. Failure to do so will be considered plagiarism. Plagiarism is the
    most serious academic offence you can incur in and could have serious
    consequences for you.


    General Reference: Art History, Aesthetics and transversal subjects
    Barrai i Altet, X: Art and architecture of Spain. Spain: Bulfinch, 1998, 575pp.
    Berger, J: Ways of seeing. UK: Penguin Books, 1972, 178pp.
    Breton, A: Manifestoes of Surrealism. Michigan: University of Michigan Press,
    1972, 304pp.
    Bryant Wilder, J: Art History for Dummies. New Jerssey: Wiley Publishing New
    Jersey, 2007, 456pp.
    Eco, U (Ed.): On Beauty. A History of a Western Idea. New York: Rizzoli, 2004,
    Eco, U (Ed): On Ugliness. New York: Rizzoli, 2007, 455pp.
    Emerling, J: Theory for Art History. London & New York: Routledge, 2005, 268pp.
    Elkins, J: Why Art Cannot Be Taught. USA: University of Illinois Press, 2001,
    Fleming, W: Art & Ideas. USA: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1986, 552pp.
    FREELAND, C: Art Theory. A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford, 2001,
    Fuentes, C: The Buried Mirror. Reflections on Spain and the New World. USA:
    Marina Books, 1999, 400pp.
    Giedion, S: The Eternal Present: the beginnings of Art. A contribution to constancy
    and change. New York: Bollingen Foundation, 1962, 588pp.
    Gies, D. T: Modern Spanish Culture. Cambridge, 1999, 368pp.
    Govignon, B (Ed.): The beginner?s guide to art. New York: Abrams, 1998, 288pp.
    Harris, J: Art History: The key Concepts. London & New York: Routledge, 2006,
    Hoving, T: Art for Dummies. California: IDG Books Worldwide, 1999, 408pp.
    Lucie-Smith, E: Dictionary of Art Terms. London: Thames&Hudson, 1984, 240pp.
    Moffitt, J. F: The Arts in Spain. London: Thames and Hudson, 1999, 240pp.
    Murrai, C (Ed.): Key Writers on Art: From Antiquity to the Nineteenth Century.
    London & New York: Routledge, 290pp.
    Murrai, C (Ed.): Key Writers on Art: The Twentieth Century. London & New York:
    Routledge, 338pp.
    Nash, E: Madrid. A Cultural and Literary Story. India: Oxford, 2006, 246pp.
    Nici, J: Barron´s AP Art History. USA: Barrons, 2008, 594pp.
    Read, H (Ed): The styles of European Art. UK: Thames&Hudson, 1965, 468pp.
    Robinson, W: Instant Art History: From Cave Art to Pop Art. USA: Ballantine Book,
    1995, 237pp.
    Roskill, M: What is Art History? USA: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1989,
    Smith, B: Spain, a History in Art. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1966, 206pp.
    Sturken, M & Cartwright, L: Practices of Looking. An Introduction to Visual Culture.
    New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 385pp.
    William, M: The Story of Spain. The bold and dramatic history of Europe´s most
    fascinating country. Málaga: Santana Books, 1996, 250pp.
    Williamson, B: Christian Art. A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford, 2004,
    ARNHEIM, R: The Genesis of a Painting: Picasso?s Guernica. USA: University of
    California Press, 1962, 139pp.
    ASHTON, D (Editor): Picasso on Art. A selection of views. New York: Da Capo
    Press, 1972, 220pp.
    BOZAL, V: Goya: Black Paintings. (Gallery Guide). Madrid: Fundación de amigos
    del Museo del Prado, 2002, 64pp.
    CALVO SERRALLER, F: Masterpieces of the Prado Museum. (Gallery Guide).
    Madrid: Fundación de amigos del Museo del Prado, 2005, 67pp.
    CALVO SERRALLER, F: Velázquez. (Gallery Guide). Madrid: Fundación de amigos
    del Museo del Prado, 2002, 64pp.
    CHARNEY, N: Museum Time. Madrid: GeoPlaneta, 2010, 109pp.
    DALÍ, S: Diary of a genius. Solar Books, 2007, 191pp.
    DÜCHTING, H: Picasso. Germany: Presel Art Guide, 2004, 71pp.
    EBBECKE, G: Dalí. Germany: Presel Art Guide, 2004, 71pp.
    ELSOHN ROSS, M: Salvador Dali and the Surrealist: Their Lives and Ideas.
    Singapore: Chicago Review Press, 2003, 144pp.
    FAERNA GARCÍA-BERMEJO, J. M: Sorolla. Barcelona: Polígrafa masterpieces, 2006,
    FINKELSTEIN, H (Edit.): The Collected writings of Salvador Dalí. USA: 1998,
    MARÍAS, F: El Greco. (Gallery Guide). Madrid: Fundación de Amigos del Museo del
    Prado, 2005, 64pp.
    MENA MARQUÉS, M. B: Goya. (Gallery Guide). Madrid: Fundación de Amigos del
    Museo del Prado, 2002, 96pp.
    ORSO, S: Velázquez. Los Borrachos, and Painting at the Court of Philip IV. USA:
    Cambridge University Press, 1993,224pp.
    RAQUEJO, T: Dalí: metamorphoses. Madrid: Edilupa, 2004, 144pp.
    READ, H: A concise history of Modern Painting. Singapure: Thames&Hudson, 2001,
    RYNCK, P: How to read a painting. Lessons from the Old Masters. New York:
    Abrams, 2004, 384pp.
    SCHIEBLER, R: Dalí. The reality of Dreams. Germany: Prestel, 1996, 127pp.
    STRATTON-PRUIT, S (Editor): Velázquez?s Las Meninas. UK: Cambridge University
    Press, 2003, 236pp.
    STRICKLAND, C: The Annotated Mona Lisa. A Crash Course in Art History. From
    Prehistory to Post-Modern. Missouri: Andrews and McMeel Books, 1992, 208pp.
    Arteseros, A: Salvemos el Prado. The artistic front during the Spanish Civil War.
    Spain: Borderdreams, 2004.
    Ayuntamiento de Madrid: Madrid Monumental. Spain: Sci-dreams, 2002.
    Buñuel, L: Un perro andaluz. France: Manga Films, 1929.
    Clouzot, H-G: El misterio de Picasso. France: Gaumont, 1956.
    Dalí, S: Destino. USA: Walt Disney, 1946.
    Díaz, A: El capitan alatriste. France, Spain & US: La Chauve-Souris, 2006.
    Forman, M: Goya´s ghosts. Spain: Warner Sogefilms, 2005.
    Hitchcock, A: Spellbound. USA: Manga films, 1945.
    Luna, B: Volaverunt. Spain: Universal, 1999.
    Munt, S: Gala. Spain: Manga Films, 2003.
    Ribas, A: Dalí. Spain: Manga films, 1990.
    Saura, C: Goya en Burdeos. Spain: Lola films, 1999.
    Saura, C: Buñuel y la mesa del Rey Salomón. Spain: Sogedasa, 2001.
    Thevenet, M: Picasso y sus mujeres. La intensa relación entre su obra y su vida
    amorosa. Spain: Planeta Arte, 2003.

    Online Reference & Research Tools
    Abstract Museum in Cuenca
    AP Art History
    Art texts
    BBC Online. Interview with Salvador Dalí in Portlligat, 1962
    BERGER, J: Ways of Seeing.
    BRETON, A: Surrealist Manifesto. 1924.
    BURKE, E: The Sublime and the Beautiful
    Caixa Forum in Madrid
    Council of Trent
    Dali Museum in Figueras
    Dali Museum in San Petersburg, FL. USA: (A Surrealist game)
    DEVEREAUX, M: The Ugly. American Society of Aesthetics
    Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona
    Joan Miró Foundation in Palma de Mallorca
    Juan March Foundation in Madrid
    Metropolitan Museum: world maps, timelines, thematic essays, work of art, etc.
    Volume 4, Number 2. 2004
    National Chalcography
    Papers on Surrealism
    Picasso Museum in Barcelona
    Picasso Museum in Malaga
    Prado Museum
    Reina Sofía Museum
    Romanticism Museum Madrid
    Royal Palace
    Royal Tapestry Factory
    San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts
    Sorolla Museum
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: How to write an Art paper guideline
    The Gombrich Archive
    Thyssen Museum
    Tzara, T: Dada Manifesto. 1924
    Virtual Campus

    The university offers a virtual platform (Dokeos) where students can revise contents,
    do their tasks and interact with the other members of the group.
    Dokeos is an e-learning environment and also a collaboration tool. The main goals of
    Dokeos are to be a very user-friendly and flexible system. It wants to be a tool for
    good learning, so that users have minimal notice of the tools and maximum attention
    for the content.

    Dokeos contains several tools for different purposes: Agenda/calendar;
    Announcements: important messages for students; Course description: explain the
    objectives, methodology, course material, assessment methods to the students?
    documents; Learning Path: this tells students which steps they should follow and
    guides them through the course. Students can submit assignments to the teacher and
    share their work with the rest of students (Chat module)




    Overview of syllabus with focus on course objectives
    Looking at paintings: the analysis of a picture.
    Basic artistic elements: light and color; volume and perspective; visual perceptions.

    ? Pook, & Newall, Introduction (pp. xvii-xxi)
    ? Pook, & Newall, Glossary of terms (pp. 217- 227)
    ? Pook, & Newall, Formalism Modernism and Modernity (pp. 33- 58)
    ? Pooke & Newall, (pp. 65-70)

    Related terms:
    Abstraction, aesthetic, allegory, architecture/architect, art, art-for-art?s- sake, art history, art
    world, artifact, artist, artwork, author, beauty/ugliness, body, classical/class, commission,
    composition, connoisseurship, curation, epoch, exhibition, figurative, form, formalism, high
    art, identification, look, museum, painting/painter, period, still-life, style, subject matter,
    theory, title


    Impact of the CounterReformation on Spanish Art Readings:
    Musso, El Greco: Painting the Soul.

    Related terms:
    Artisan, craft, gothic, iconography/iconic, medieval art/medieval/middle ages, patron,
    perspective. academy, humanism/human, ideal, illusionism, mannerism, renaissance.

    2. EL GRECO Religious paintings and portraits


    The Holly Trinity
    The Martyrdom of St. Maurice
    Christ Carrying the Cross

    Basic characteristics and an overview of the works of Ribera, Murillo and Zurbarán

    ? Moffitt, The court of the last Habsburgs (pp. 169-174)
    ? Nash, Paseo del Prado: From Siesta to Fiesta (pp. 1-19); Puerta del Sol: Ruffians
    and Royals (pp. 21-40); Plaza Mayor: Blood and Theater (pp.61-73)

    Reading behind Velázquez?s paintings
    Velazquez?s masterpieces at Prado: Earthly vision of Gods, Court Jesters and Royal Portraits

    ? Moffitt, Velázquez: The High watermark of Spanish Painting (pp. 147-163)
    ? Fahy, Velázquez (1599?1660)
    ? Nash, The Royal Palace: The World of Velázquez (pp.45-59)

    5. ?I see you seeing me, in you I see myself seen and I see you seeing yourself being seen? Or What is hidden in
    Las Meninas
    Velázquez as a court painter
    Official portraits and Historic work
    Customs and mythology

    ? Stratton-Pruitt, Velázquez´s Las Meninas: an Interpretive Primer (pp.124-149); The
    Aura of a Masterpiece: Responses to Las Meninas in Nineteenth-Century Spain and
    France (pp. 8-46), Representing representation (pp.150-169); Las Meninas in
    Twentieth-Century Art (pp. 170-202)

    The Neoclassic period and the new tendencies in architecture, sculpture, and painting

    ? Galitz, Romanticism.
    ? Burke, Of the Sublime and the Beautiful

    7. GOYA
    Goya before being Goya
    Cartoons for the Royal Tapestry
    Popular topics


    The Wedding
    The Wine Harvest

    8. GOYA
    An intruder in the Court Portraits, the Majas and the Black Paintings
    ?The Dream/Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters?
    Goya´s drawing and engraving albums

    ? Pooke & Newall, Sex and Sexualities: representation of gender (pp. 136- 163)
    ? Berger, Ways of seeing Chapter 3 (pp. 45-64)
    ? Devereaux, The Ugly
    ? Nash, The Buena Vista: Goya and The Duchess (pp. 81-91); Plaza Dos de Mayo:
    Goya and National Heros (pp 93-103)
    ? Campbell, European Tapestry Production and Patronage, 1600?1800

    Introduction to the change of the century; new trends: Impressionism

    ? Pook, & Newall, Exploring Postmodernities, (pp. 164-191)

    Avant-Garde and its understanding tools
    Related terms
    Avant-garde, contemporary, cubism, dada, expressionism, functionalism/function, futurism,
    installation/installation art, ism, mass culture/mass, movement, pop/pop art/popular,
    primitivism, psychoanalysis/psychology, surrealism.

    10. ?A painting is an addition of
    destructions? Picasso and the stages of Cubism
    ?Every child is an artist. It's a challenge to remain an artist when you grow up?. ? Picasso
    Artistic and personal stages, interest and styles

    ? Moffitt, The Picasso Phenomenon & The Native Sources of Spanish Cubism & Art,
    Politics and War (pp. 201-214)
    ? Murrell, African Influences in Modern Art.
    ? Rewald, Cubism. Voorhies,
    Pablo Picasso (1881?1973)

    Surrealism, Dali?s artistic and personal stages
    The Automatic Writing and Process of Images
    A movie without plot: Surrealism and Cinema

    ? Pook, & Newall, Psychoanalysis, Art and the Hidden Self, (pp. 115-135)
    ? Moffit, Paradoxes of Modern Spain (pp. 214-218)
    ? Voorhies, Surrealism
    ? Nash, The ?Resi?: The Birth of Surrealism. (pp. 145- 162)
    ? Department of Photographs (MOMA), Photography and Surrealism
    ? Dalí, Diary, entries 1952 (pp. 15-32), 1953 (pp. 81-113)

    Final Exam Review
    Course content Review

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.