Spanish architecture and painting

Ultimate Guide To Spanish Art & Literature

Want to learn a little about spanish art – and literature?

Browse lists of top Spanish artists and authors further on down … or click on the links at the end of the page for full biographies.

There are numerous museums sprinkled throughout Spain’s cities where you can enjoy Spanish works of art.

The most important and largest museum as far as Spanish masters goes is the wonderful El Prado Museum in Madrid. Delight in works by El Greco … Velazquez … Goya …

The Reina Sofía Art Museum in Madrid houses contemporary and modern Spanish works of art – including Picasso’s famous Guernica.

Moving away from Madrid and up north to Bilbao, Frank O Gehry’s modern Guggenheim Museum – inspired by Pablo Picasso’s cubist work “The Accordionist” – houses a superb selection of works by some of the best Basque and Spanish contemporary artists.

Down south – in Pablo Picasso’s birthplace of Málaga – is the extremely popular Picasso Museum.

Collage of Spanish art

Here you’ll find splendid classics such as “Olga Kokhlova with Mantilla” (Barcelona 1917), “Mother and Child” (1921-1922), “Portrait of Paulo with White Hat” (1923), plus numerous of his sketches and ceramics.

But … not all spanish art is to be found in its museums and galleries …

Discover wonderful examples of Paleolithic Art in the prehistoric cave paintings of Altamira and Cogul – near Lleida.

We don’t know the names of those splendid long-gone artists … but we do of some of the ones that followed …

Here’s just a short listing of Spanish Artists – there are too many to mention them all! – followed by a brief listing of famous Spanish Literature.

At the end of the page, you’ll find links leading to more detailed descriptions.

List of Spanish Artists


  • Fernando Gallego (1440-1507)


  • El Greco (1541-1614) – Greek by birth, emigrating to Toledo


19/20th centuries – Romantic and Modern

  • José de Madrazo y Agudo (1781-1859) – romantic/historical
  • Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) – modern
  • Juan Gris (1887-1927) – cubist
  • Joan Miró (1893-1983) – surrealist
  • Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) – surrealist
  • Antoni Tàpies (1923-) – abstract expressionist

Famous Spanish Literature

  • Poema del Cid – Anonymous, very realistic poem, written around 1140AD, about a real person … his battles and daily life.
  • The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes and of His Fortunes and Adversities – Published anonymously in 1554 and regarded as the founder of the picaresque novel.
  • Don Quijote de la Mancha, by Miguel de Cervantes – First part published in 1605, the second in 1615. Recognised as the first modern novel and one of the world’s most important literary works.
  • Lope de Vega – Spanish playwright and poet with several works published, including “Rimas Humanas y Divinas del Licenciado Tomé de Burguillos” (1634), thought to be the most modern poetry book of the 17th century.
  • Federico García Lorca – Poet and dramatist, murdered in the Spanish Civil War aged 38, whose many works include the poetry “Romancero Gitano” (1928), and trilogy of plays “Bodas de Sangre”, “Yerma”, and “La Casa de Bernarda Alba”.

spanish art and literature – related pages