The Spanish Eye

September 2007
8 colour, 8 black and white, 4 line illustrations
184 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Monografias A
ISBN: 9781855661431
Format: Hardback
Tamesis Books

The Spanish Eye

Painters and Poets of Spain

Robert Havard

The distinctively Spanish approach to reality and the visual image in painting and poetry.
The guiding principle of The Spanish Eye is that the 'sister arts' of painting and poetry are mutually illuminating, their common currency being the visual image. The merits of five masters -El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, Picasso and Dalí- are described, with a view to distinguishing what is peculiarly Spanish in their way of looking at reality. Each is related to his cultural context and to a major contemporary poet: St John of the Cross, Góngora, Espronceda, Guillén and Lorca. The overarching theme is that Spanish painters, no less than poets, have a distinctive take on reality: namely, one that fluctuates between the extremes of transcendentalism and hyper-realism, often mixing both. The book is aimed at art historians and aficionados - who need no knowledge of Spanish since all quotations are given in translation- and equally at students of Spanish. Both will find that the comparative approach provides an unusually direct understanding of mysticism, the baroque, romanticism, modernism and surrealism, while enriching awareness of the power of the visual image.

ROBERT HAVARD is Professor of Spanish at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

Table of Contents

Foreword: The Real and its Metamorphosis
El Greco, St John and the Iconography of Mysticism
Velázquez, Góngora and the Exaltation of the Real
Goya: From Reason to Madness
Picasso, Guillén and Alberti: From Cubism to Communsim
Dalí and Lorca: Narcissism and the Impossible Metamorphosis
Select Bibliography


This is a thoughtful and thought-provoking book that will undoubtedly stimulate further research into the interface between Spanish literature and visual art as well as engagement with that thorny issue of national identity and its manifestations in the arts. BULLETIN OF SPANISH STUDIES

Also by Author

Also in Series