Catalan Historical Review, No 9 (2016)

Architecture and the arts in Catalonia during the Renaissance

Joaquim Garriga


This is an overview of the process of transformation of the architecture, sculpture and painting of Catalonia during the Renaissance. It attempts to reconstruct the fundamental era of changes when the late Gothic models were replaced by the new Renaissance paradigm gestated in Italy, thus ushering in the modern cycle of arts in the country. Despite the relative dearth of a Catalan historiographic tradition that studies and explains the cultural heritage from this period – which was decimated by the massive destruction in the 19th and 20th centuries, which particularly targeted religious works – we begin to trace the major outlines of the process of assimilating the Renaissance which got underway in the 16th century and did not culminate until well into the 17th century. What emerges is the notable volume of artistic output undertaken, the main agents and factors in the transformation, the slow yet steady pace of the incorporation of changes, the long phase of hybridisation and the uneven acceptance of Renaissance features depending on the different parameters
of architecture or figurative arts considered.

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ISSN: 2013-4088 (electronic edition); 2013-407X (print edition)