Evolution of 17th Century Spanish Classical Landscapes


"I am a regular student. I took the class on the Evolution of 17th Century Spanish Classical Landscape paintings. 

I've always taken "landscapes" for granted - they're there in the background, OK. But I learned that they were NOT always there, they've got a history. I knew that landscapes give paintings "atmosphere", but I learned that you can read a landscape to understand the feeling of the painting. 

I am now looking forward to seeing the evolution of the landscape and how it can give importance (or not) to the people, objects or actions depicted.

Karla opens my eyes to things we take for granted. I recommend her classes."

- Jo Jouas, Denia

17th Century Royal Portraits, Painters & Fashions


“A fascinating lecture from Karla on 17th Century Spanish portraits. As ever the listener learnt as much about Spanish history as Spanish art so making these lectures a must for anyone keen to learn more about Spain as their chosen home.

Karla is a great fan of the Spanish painter, Velasquez, and by the end of the lecture we were in agreement. We were shown how Velasquez’ style evolved over time and was shaped by the influences of the 17th Century Spanish court he lived in and by the developments in painting, especially from Italy where he studied in Naples. Like his contemporaries he began by showing his mastery of painting the textiles his sitters were wearing. However, at his height his skill was much more about showing the soul of his subject which is so affecting today as they gaze out at us hundreds of years later.

Karla took us through the work of several other Spanish artists of the time and it was here in particular we learnt so much about the fashions of the 17th Century Spanish court. The clothes were super-sumptuous and unimaginably expensive. They also were designed to engage with the viewer using signs and symbols which communicated meaning. The painting of little Prince Philip Prosper showed him wearing a host of charms to protect him in different ways but sadly it was all in vain and he died very young. There were other symbols too such as only royals could have a chair in view as only a royal could sit in the presence of royalty.  

We were given several other insights into life at that time, at least amongst the very wealthy. Perhaps as ever beauty was associated with pain. Ladies cleavage was held in place by wooden planks in their dresses and there was no such thing as a left and right shoe – all shoes were the same.”

- Chris Wood, Jávea

17th Century Royal Portraits, Painters & Fashion

 "I feel I learn something new at each lecture - not only the painting and artists, of course, but some cultural or historical point. In this lecture, I learned about damascene artwork used on the armors worn by royalty - typically Spanish. Karla opens up new doors each time. Always a pleasure."

- Jo Jouas, Denia

17th Century Spanish Royal Portraits, Painters & Fashion

"I took the class because I have always had an interest in the history of art - so always keen to learn more.

I liked the way that the lecture gave an insight into history generally interspersed with the history of the paintings and artists.

The following points were interesting like how in the portraits the Royals are leaning on chairs, the importance of dwarfs, the strange facial features caused by the Habsburg interbreeding, and about how Velasquez’s son-in-law worked with him, and so much more. 

I like Karla's depth of knowledge of the subject and all of the surrounding non-art facts. I also appreciated her informality and the fact that she didn't just read from notes.

I will recommend her classes and speak to a friend."

- Michael Atkinson, UK

BOOK REVIEW - Spanish DOGS - History Book

We see them sitting under chairs in cafés, popping out of handbags and catching frisbees at the beach. If you are lucky enough to have a dog as a pet then they are there to welcome you home. We see them in today’s modern world and accept them just so. 

However, reading this book opens up one's mind to a greater appreciation of these animals. Spanish DOGS by Karla Ingleton Darocas gives readers a new understanding of where dogs came from, their roles throughout Spanish history, social culture and their relevance in the development of humanity. 

Perhaps you have been in an art gallery and admired a painting and noticed a dog in the scene and then walked on without a further thought? After reading Karla's book, this won't happen again. In this book Karla cherry-picks the best of Spanish artwork and reveals that dogs are often more than just a decorative element. 

Karla brings the art scene to life, answering the questions: What kind of dog it is? Who is it with, and why is it there? Is there a secret message, and what is the artist trying to convey? Karla combines her passionate knowledge of the artwork together with the dog breed and places it in the context of centuries of Spanish history. 

Technically, this book is clearly written. Chapters are broken down into small bites with headings and photos that stir the imagination, allowing you to dip in and out as it suits. This book gives more than facts and figures, it gives knowledge and understanding. After reading it you will have an appreciation for the dogs of Spain, no matter where you may find them in the world today.

- Janet Jager, Switerland

17 c Profane Baroque

"This time the selection of profane paintings by masters such as: José Ribera, Diego Velazquez and Francisco Zurburán impressed me because of the clear Baroque elements like dark backgrounds and the engagement of the persons with the public. Many of the paintings looked like photographs in their stunning details of the human body, scenes in themselves, clothing and hairstyle ( mustaches). New in this lecture was the Still Life slot or 'Naturaleza muerta' in Spanish. 

Karla pointed out the items and it was great that she zoomed in on such details like wine being served, where we could see, if not 'hear and smell' the wine pouring in the cup. Brilliant! We saw the creases in the table cloth, vegetables hanging from a rope in the window pane. All scenes so real and still... Still Life. Absolutely fantastic. 

As always Karla explains and teaches with an endless knowledge of her subjects. The illustrations are well chosen and the whole lecture makes one long for the next visit/excursions to museums like the Prado. Wonderful stuff!"

* Trudi van Dorp - Benitachell