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Arts

Velázquez and the Golden Age of Spanish art shine in Berlin

Spain's Golden Age will illuminate Berlin all summer with the major art show "El Siglo de Oro. The Age of Velázquez." It is the most important exhibition from that period to have ever been shown outside of Spain.

17th century Spanish art remains one of the most important and popular chapters in European cultural history. The major Berlin exhibition, "El Siglo de Oro. The Age of Velázquez," opening on July 1, focuses on that productive period.

It features some 150 masterpieces, with works by Velázquez, El Greco, Francisco de Zurbarán and Bartolomé E. Murillo. Also included are lesser-known artists from the artistic centers of Toledo, Valencia, Seville, and Madrid - such as Alonso Cano and Gregorio Fernández.

With artistic creativity inseparably linked to political and social developments in the 17th century, the exhibition also explores that period Spanish history.

Art in times of crisis

Spain had previously established itself as the most powerful country in Europe. But its Golden Age of arts, also known by its Spanish name Siglo de Oro, paradoxically evolved during a time marked by deep crisis: epidemics, armed conflicts and famine.

With King Philip IV beginning to lose political power and territories and the influence of Protestantism on the rise, the arts served as an instrument of political propaganda. Paintings and sculptures aimed to simulate the illusion of the king's power and stability.

The show offers the opportunity to find out more about that period of European history. The exhibition is held at the "Gemäldegalerie" museum in Berlin from July 1 through October 30, 2016.

eg/rf (dpa, www.el-siglo-de-oro.de)

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