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Art in Extremadura in the 19th and 20th centuries

The 19th and 20th century are, historically and artistically, two centuries with a marked changeable character, as regards to the social field as well as the political field, and logically the cultural field.

This fact had and has a great influence on the architectonic, pictorial sculptural styles of this time.

They are centuries of agricultural, industrial and social revolutions, many of them were born as a result of the French Revolution in 1789, and which to a greater or lesser extent affected Spain and Extremadura.

Without doubt, these influences were greatest at the beginning of the 19th century, when the confrontations with the neighbouring country took place during the so-called Independence War.

The 20th century is a century where the Classicism, inspired in the Greco-Latin World and begun in the last century, triumphed, but, just as happened with the other artistic styles, it triumphed later in Extremadura, when the 19th century had already started.

This century knew important and revolutionary political changes: the return of Fernando VII; the coming to throne of his daughter Isabel II and Civil Wars between her partisans and the carlists; the queen’s expulsion; the arrival of Amadeo de Saboya as the king; the establishment of the First Republic; the losing of the last American colonies; etc.

The 20th century was not less changeable than the 19th century: the abdication of the King Alfonso XIII; the Civil War; the long period of military dictatorship; the restoration of the monarchy and an important period of political and democratic liberties in the last quarter of the century.

All these circumstances were reflected in the creative and cultural world in Spain and, with more or less local features, in Extremadura, which has been divided into two provinces from the 19th century and became an Autonomous Region in 1983.

The 20th century brought the Modernism and multiple and rich artistic avant-garde expressions, together with some philosophic and cultural trends which left their traces in the countless Extremaduran or foreign painters, sculptors or architects who carried out their activities in this region.

Many cities in the Extremaduran region have interesting works from this time especially in architecture.

Many areas are very proud of the avant-garde works by engineers, architects and sculptors who have been inspired by Extremadura or for Extremadura in the carrying out of decorative, functional or practical works.

The list of architects and engineers, together with the list of painters or sculptors who are inspired by Extremadura and who feel they are attached to this region, even coming from other places and corners of the world, would be impossible to summarise them in this last route.

For this reason we can only mention some good examples which stand out from others, we will stop in some historic-artistic epochs of the 19th and 20th centuries.
We will try to get a general idea about the extensive artistic and cultural world in Extremadura for the last two centuries.

If you wish to know something else about our artists we invite you to visit our interesting network of provincial and local Museums, our Cathedrals and Churches and even the interesting private collections or exhibitions.


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