CEEH Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica

Artistic Exchanges between Spain and Italy, 1516–1621: Orrente, Maíno, Tristán, Borgianni and Cavarozzi


Piers Baker-Bates


152 pages; 55 color illustrations; flapped paperback; 16 x 24 cm


English; preface by Jonathan Ruffer; jointly published with the Spanish Gallery; 2024





The collection of the Spanish Gallery at Bishop Auckland boasts a significant group of paintings that shed light on the rich and diverse artistic exchanges between Spain and Italy around 1600. Many Spanish artists spent part of their careers in Italy, while their Italian counterparts pursued opportunities in Habsburg Spain. In addition, Spanish patrons who were based in Rome or Naples commissioned works from local artists.

The transcultural itineraries of Orrente, Maíno, Tristán, Borgianni and Cavarozzi in the age of Caravaggio can be traced through their pictures in the Spanish Gallery collection, which have hitherto been neglected but are relevant for illuminating an important chapter in the complex history of Spain’s Golden Age. This volume sets out to consider these pictures showing the effects of Italian influence in Spain and revealing the Spanish element in the creation and circulation of works produced in Italian territories under Spanish control during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

This study of Spanish-Italian relations tells a story of a pivotal change of direction in taste and artistic invention. It is possible to understand this renewal through a handful of painters who are relatively unknown to wider audiences but are increasingly recognised as key players in a process of radical transformation.

Piers Baker-Bates is a Visiting Research Associate at the Open University (UK). He has published extensively on Sebastiano del Piombo and the cultural relations between Italy and Spain in the sixteenth century, including his monographic study Sebastiano del Piombo and the World of Spanish Rome (2016). He has co-edited The Spanish Presence in Sixteenth-Century Italy: Images of Iberia (with M. Pattenden, 2015) and contributed to the catalogue of the Uffizi exhibition Spagna e Italia in dialogo nell’Europa del Cinquecento (Florence, 2018). In 2022 he was CEEH Research Fellow at the Zurbarán Centre at Durham University.