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The Spanish Eye: Painters and Poets of Spain
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The Spanish Eye: Painters and Poets of Spain (Hardback)

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The guiding principle of The Spanish Eye is that the 'sister arts' of painting and poetry are mutually illuminating, their common currency being the visual image. The merits of five masters -El Greco, Velazquez, Goya, Picasso and Dali- are described, with a view to distinguishing what is peculiarly Spanish in their way of looking at reality. Each is related to his cultural context and to a major contemporary poet: St John of the Cross, Gongora, Espronceda, Guillen and Lorca. The overarching theme is that Spanish painters, no less than poets, have a distinctive take on reality: namely, one that fluctuates between the extremes of transcendentalism and hyper-realism, often mixing both. The book is aimed at art historians and aficionados - who need no knowledge of Spanish since all quotations are given in translation- and equally at students of Spanish. Both will find that the comparative approach provides an unusually direct understanding of mysticism, the baroque, romanticism, modernism and surrealism, while enriching awareness of the power of the visual image.

ROBERT HAVARD is Professor of Spanish at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

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