Art of Andalusia ; Argumentative Essay


Art of Andalusia

Andalusia is a large and beautiful region in Spain. The region has produced numerous, great artists, and it is considered one of the regions in Spain that is extremely rich in culture, filled with museums, palaces, monuments, where one can see and witness great art. Andalusian people are thought to have an innate beauty sense with a particular love for decorative art, probably inherited from one or more of the many cultures that lived in the region. The Moors were some of the first influences of art the region had, which helped artists produce and come up with such pieces of art like Mezquita and Alhambra in Cordoba and Granada respectively (Steves 78- 143).

Background Information

After the reconquest of the Christians and the American discovery, trade with the American traders was conducted through Seville, which was the only authorized port for the trade. As a result, all the riches from America passed through the port of Seville, and much of it did not live the region and was spread to other parts of Andalusia. There were churches, cathedrals, convents, monasteries, hospitals and city halls to built, so there was an increased need for all kinds of architects, artists, and sculptors. Many of these people were from Andalusia or lived in the region. The Baroque and renaissance ages reached they’re fruited their full in the region (Steves 78- 143).

This paper will explore some arts derived from Andalusia and how different cultures and religions like Christianity, Jewish, as well as, Muslim influenced this region’s art.

Three thousand years of invasion and settlement by many distinct people and cultures left their traces and influence in Andalusia. Not only the Greeks, the Phoenicians, and the Tartessians, but also the Arabs and the Romans have influenced and contributed greatly to the architectural styles of the region. The architectural inheritance of this period, however, is not similar. Other than numerous other entities, the remains of the former Italica city of Rome, which was situated near the Santiponce village, is present today (Lowney 98- 144).

From the period of the supremacy by the Arabs, there are some spectacular, splendid building that one can find in Granada, Cordoba, and Seville. Above all, of the labyrinths in the streets of the ancient town centers are clear signs of the influence Arabs had on the city. Other than the putting up of religious structures and buildings, like mosques, the Muslim constructors created splendid defense systems and water routes.

After this period came to an end, the Mudejar style arose, and it was, as a result, of influence by the Moorish constructors, a mixture of styles that made use of renaissance and gothic styles and elements with a mixture of the traditional Almohad style. After this period, the famous Seville cathedral was put up, the third largest cathedral in the world and the biggest gothic church. These are clear indications of influence the three religions had on art and architecture in Andalusia (Lowney 98- 144).

The renaissance indicates its influence on this region’s art in the commonly called Plateresque style with its almost playful and ornamental pieces of art. This style was followed by the Baroque style which involved styles that were more monumental and decorative in appearance. After this era, there arose a wide range of the commonly called historic style, which mixes and cites a number of older styles of architecture. Some examples of this kind of art were in Seville. Instructors of Arab origin also influence Andalusian crafts and arts.  Carpenter works, ceramics, silversmith production, leatherwork, weaving, as well as, cloth weaving are some of the works of art and crafts that derive much of their influence from Arab instructors, art and culture. Guitar production, furniture, and metalwork, particularly forging of irons also have a long tradition and origin from the Arab instructors (Irwin 56- 98).

Example of Andalusian art

In some of the exhibitions, marble capitals in Cordoba represent the influence of artisans from Byzantine invited to train Muslims in the court, while the schematized interweaving of the window screens made of marbles is a sign of influence from the later, geometrically, more complex designs of the Muslims. An example of Andalusian art of the artistic production of Umayyad is the deep overall Ivory carvings like the Pamplona Casket, with its foliated dedication of the Kufic to Abd al-Malik, and its images if princes hunting and feasting sketched from the textile patterns (Bargebuhr 198- 258).

Another excellent example of Andalusian art is the sculpture of lions carrying a fountain. The figures of the lions carrying a fountain are an oddity in Arabian art, as the Koran does not allow the metaphorical representation of animals and humans. The region also boasts of numerous paintings from all the cities of Andalusia. Such paintings are from romanticist artists like Manuel Barron, Gonzalo Bilbao, and Jose Garcia among others. An example of an Andalusian painting is one by Manuel Barron is a romanticized landscape painting (Lowney 98- 144).


The Andalusian art came about mainly because of the influence it received from many cultures that passed through or lived in the region. As a result, of these diverse cultures, the region became rich with art, architecture, and culture.

Work cited

Bargebuhr, Frederick P. “The Alhambra Palace of the Eleventh Century.” Journal of the   Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 19.3/4 (1956:192-258. Print.

Irwin, Robert. The Alhambra. New York: MIT Press, 2005. Print.

Lowney, Chris. A Vanished World: Medieval Spain’s Golden Age of Enlightenment. New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc., 2005. Print.

Steves, Rick. Spain and Portugal. New York: Avalon Travel Publishing, 2004. Print.


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