Visionary Experience in the Golden Age of Spanish Art

Front Cover
Reaktion Books, 1995 - Art - 224 pages
0 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
In this original and lucid account of how Spanish painters of the 16th and 17th centuries dealt with mystic visions in their art, and of how they attempted to "represent the unrepresentable", Victor Stoichita aims to establish a theory of visionary imagery in Western art in general, and one for the Spanish Counter-Reformation in particular. He reveals how the spirituality of the Counter-Reformation was characterized by a rediscovery of the role of the imagination in the exercise of faith. This had important consequences for painters such as Velazquez, Zurbaran and El Greco, leading to the development of ingenious solutions for visual depictions of mystical experience. This was to crystallize into an overtly meditative and didactic pictorial language.

That Spanish painting is both cerebral and passionate is due to the particular historical forces which shaped it. Stoichita's account will be of crucial interest not just to scholars of Spanish art but to anyone interested in how art responds to ideological pressures.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Vision and Metalanguage
Visions and Paintings
The Distant View
The Making of a Painting
Representations of the Mystical Eros
The Seeing Body

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 207 - For an account of this kind of complaint see ER Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, trans. WR Trask (London, 1953...

About the author (1995)

Victor I. Stoichita is Professor of the History of Art at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. He is author of A Short History of the Shadow (Reaktion, 1997) and co-author of Goya (Reaktion, 1999).

Bibliographic information