The Golden Age of Spanish Art

Tuesday 30th June to Thursday 2nd July 11am-1pm

In this three-day course we explore the history and magnificence of the Spanish Golden Age through a study of the works of Murillo, Velázquez and Zurbarán. The course will be led by specialist lecturer Siân Walters (National Gallery/Wallace Collection/Arts Society)

The course comprises three live-streamed lectures which will be given at 11.00am BST (British Summer Time). Tune in from anywhere in the world to watch or enjoy a recorded version of the lecture which can be accessed for up to 24 hours afterwards. Each session will last approximately 2 hours with a short break and a question/answer session. Students will be provided with comprehensive hand-outs and a suggested reading list/online resources before the course begins - these will be sent by email. 

Participant numbers for 3-day courses will be limited to allow for extended discussion. Those wishing to use the microphone/webcam function can appear in the lecture to ask their questions. There will also be a virtual "coffee break" where those wishing to use this function can chat informally and see one another. The participation fee is £60 per person


The 17th century is known as the Golden Age of Spanish Art, a period in which the country was able to use its vast wealth, accumulated following the expansion of its territories in Europe and the Americas, to fund extravagant and ambitious programmes of building and painting. At the helm of the country’s artistic patronage was King Philip IV, one of the greatest collectors of art in Europe. His well-honed instinct for talent drew him to the young, brilliant Diego Velázquez who would soon become his court painter, gaining recognition as the greatest artist of his generation and praised for his ability to capture a sitter’s personality or mood. We trace the rise of Velázquez’s glittering career at one of the most illustrious courts in Europe.

Francisco de Zurbarán’s painting developed quite a different style, characterised by a simplicity, austerity and strength which reflected the religious zeal of the time and a hyper-realism which makes his figures seem to come alive. He also took the more unusual step of concentrating on one particular genre, spending almost all of his life depicting autonomous images of monks, saints and martyrs and it is these powerful and often moving images which we explore today.

Our last lecture focuses on Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Born in Seville in 1617, Murillo decided to remain here for almost all of his working life, and his paintings are not only a valuable testament to the religious climate of the city following the Counter-Reformation, but also important documents which tell us a great deal about society and everyday life at the time. We discuss some of his charming images of street orphans and flower girls, explaining the reasons behind their creation and exploring other masterpieces which demonstrate how Murillo’s work took a radically different turn from his Spanish contemporaries


Further Information


1. BOOK.

Click on the gold “Book This Course/Event” button on the right hand side now, fill in the online booking form and pay online. Please use a UK account/card (if you are paying using a non-UK account/card please email us to arrange alternative payment methods). You will be notified automatically by email once your booking has been accepted. The participation fee is £60 per person, if making bookings for a number of people please provide their email addresses when booking them as separate participants.


Download ZOOM once you have booked - please print/download the instructions in this downloadable link and read them carefully. 


You will receive an email at least 24 hours before the course asking you to register.** This is a privacy function enabling only registered participants to attend. After registering you will immediately receive the log in link to the lecture/s.

** Please note that these details are sent out in office hours, so if you book on a weekend you may not receive them until Monday. You must register with the same name that you have booked under and at least 45 minutes before the lecture begins, otherwise you may not be able to watch. If you have not received your email confirmations, please check your ‘deleted items' and 'junk mail' folders.


Join the lecture at least ten minutes before it is scheduled to start, to ensure everything is working.

If you are not able to watch the lecture at the time it is live-streamed, you can still book online, as above. You will be contacted after the lecture has been broadcast with instructions on how to access the recorded lecture, for up to 24 hours afterwards.You do not need to advise us if you can't participate live, don't worry!

Bookings close the day before the lecture is streamed.

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for booking this event. We regret that we are unable to offer technical support with Zoom but tips can be found in the attachment. If you would like to book more than one event, please book separately for each lecture that you would like to attend, thank you. If you are booking for more than one person, it is important that you include their email address so that we can send them the lecture link too. We regret we are unable to offer refunds but don't worry if you are not able to attend, as we will send you the recorded lecture link.

On April 27 Zoom released Zoom 5.0. This new version provides increased protection for meeting data and resistance against tampering. After May 30 all Zoom users with older versions will be required to update the Zoom app before joining meetings.  Do ensure you have upgraded your Zoom to the 5.0 version - it's very easy to do. zoom.com/download

Images: from left to right, details from Las Meninas by Velazquez © Museo del Prado Madrid; St Margaret of Antioch by Zurbaran © National Gallery, London; Two Women at a Window by Murillo © National Gallery, Washington


  • Online live lectures
  • Viewable from anywhere in the world
  • Limited participants
  • Hand-outs and reading lists included
  • Extensive Q and A and discussion


  • Price: £60.00
  • Venue: See Further Information
  • Lecturer: Siân Walters


Booking is now closed.

If you have any questions regarding the course or booking please send us an email or
call on +44 (0)1932 267322

Recommended Reading

Visit the AHF bookstore for a list of recommended books and products to accompany this course/event.


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