PLATERESQUE, meaning "in the manner of a silversmith" (plata being
silver in Spanish ), was an artistic movement, especially
architectural , developed in
Spain and its territories , which
appeared between the late Gothic and early
Renaissance in the late
15th century, and spread over the next two centuries. It is a
modification of Gothic spatial concepts and an eclectic blend of
Flamboyant Gothic and Lombard decorative components, as
Renaissance elements of Tuscan origin.
Examples of this syncretism are the inclusion of shields and
pinnacles on facades, columns built in the
manner, and facades divided into three parts (in Renaissance
architecture they are divided into two). It reached its peak during
the reign of
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor , especially in Salamanca
, but also flourished in other such cities of the
Iberian Peninsula as
Burgos and in the territory of
New Spain , which is now
Plateresque has been considered down to current times a Renaissance
style by many scholars. To others, it is its own style, and sometimes
receives the designation of Protorenaissance. Some even call it
Renaissance in a refusal to consider it as a style in itself,
but to distinguish it from non-Spanish
The style is characterized by ornate decorative facades covered with
floral designs, chandeliers, festoons , fantastic creatures and all
sorts of configurations. The spatial arrangement, however, is more
clearly Gothic-inspired. This fixation on specific parts and their
spacing, without structural changes of the Gothic pattern, causes it
to be often classified as simply a variation of
Renaissance style. In
New Spain the
Plateresque acquired its own configuration, clinging
tightly to its
Mudéjar heritage and blending with Native American
In the 19th century with the rise of historicism , the Plateresque
architectural style was revived under the name of Monterrey Style .
* 1 Etymology
* 2 Problems of geographical area and consideration as Style
* 3 Features
* 3.1 Spanish
* 3.2 American
* 4 History
* 4.1 Isabelline Style (15th century)
Plateresque Gothic (late 15th century–1530)
* 4.4 Monterrey Style (19th century and first third of 20th century)
* 5 Examples
Plateresque architects and artists
Plateresque buildings, architectural elements, and other works
* 7 See also
* 8 References
Plateresque came from the silversmith trade. Diego Ortiz de
Zúñiga used it for the first time, applying it to the Royal Chapel
Cathedral of Seville in the 17th century.
PROBLEMS OF GEOGRAPHICAL AREA AND CONSIDERATION AS STYLE
Altar plateresque of the Cistercian monastery of Santa María
del Salvador, in Cañas (La Rioja ) Tomb of the Saint Juan de
Ortega in the church of the convent of Santa Dorotea,
Plateresque has been considered a style exclusively
"Spanish", a term also applied to architecture in the Spanish
territories held by the Spanish Crown between the 15th and 17th
centuries. But by the mid-20th century this geographical connotation
was questioned under the arguments of several authors, especially
Camón Aznar (1945) and Rosenthal (1958), who defined Plateresque
generically as a unitary amalgam of elements – Gothic, Muslim, and
Renaissance. Aznar does not regard it as a style properly denoted as
Renaissance, and Rosenthal emphasizes its association with certain
buildings in other European countries, mainly France and Portugal, but
also Germany and others.
This problem highlights the imprecision of the name
the difficulties inherent in using it to describe productions from a
period of confusion and transition between styles, especially since
they are characterized by decorative profusion suggesting an attempt
to disguise the failure of Spanish architects to develop new
structural and spatial ideas. It has even been suggested that this
problem could be solved by identifying what is called
the replacement of Gothic decoration with grotesques inspired by the
works of the Italian
Sebastiano Serlio .
Any persuasive argument, however, must admit that the
Protorenaissance was an artistic movement that responded to the
demands of the ruling classes of imperial Spain, which had just
Reconquista and begun the colonization of the Americas.
The Spanish were developing a consciousness of their growing power and
wealth, and in their exuberance launched a period of construction of
grand monuments to symbolize these with what are now considered
Plateresque facades, like those of altarpieces , were made as
carefully as if they were the works of goldsmiths , and decorated as
profusely. The decoration, although of various inspirations, was
mainly of plant motifs, but also had a profusion of medallions,
heraldic devices and animal figures, among others. Plateresque
utilized a wealth of materials: gold plates on crests and roofs,
vases, etc. There is evidence of more polychrome works at the
conclusion of the first third of the 16th century, when there appeared
heraldic crests of historical provenance and long balustrades, to
mention one kind of less busy decoration.
The proliferation of decoration for all architectural surfaces led to
the creation of new surfaces and subspaces, which were in turn
decorated profusely, such as niches and aediculas .
Italian elements were also being developed progressively as
decoration: rustications , classical capitals , Roman arches and
The decoration had specific meanings and can not be read as merely
decorative; thus laurels, military shields and horns-of-plenty were
placed in the houses of military personnel. In a similar vein, Greek
and Roman myths were depicted elsewhere to represent abstract humanist
ideals, so that the decorative became a means to express and
Plataresque implemented and preferred new spatial aspects, so
caustrales, or stairs of open boxes, made their appearance. However,
there were few spatial changes with respect to the Gothic tradition.
In America, especially in today's Mexico, various indigenous cultures
were in certain stages of development that can be considered Baroque
when the Spanish brought with them the
Plateresque style. This
European phenomenon mixed symbiotically with local traditions, so that
Gothic architecture was not built in America itself, but the
Plateresque mixed with Native American influences, soon evolving into
what came to be called American Baroque.
Plateresque style follows the line of Isabelline , where
decorative elements of Italianate origin combine with Iberian
traditional elements to form ornamental complexes that overlay the
Gothic structures. We can speak of
Plateresque that retains Gothic
forms as a basis until 1530. After that date, although it continued to
be used and
Plateresque ornaments were still evolving, it became part
of an architecture that was beginning to incorporate Renaissance
ideas. In 1563, with the start of construction of the monastery of San
El Escorial , the
Renaissance architecture was purified
through the interventions of
Juan de Herrera , which ended the
splendor and spread of the
Plateresque in the Iberian Peninsula. But
Mexico it was not forgotten, leading to a
Neo-Plateresque style in
the 18th century.
In any case the Plateresque, considered or not as a style, and
whether exclusively Spanish or more broadly European, represents the
transition between Gothic and
ISABELLINE STYLE (15TH CENTURY)
Isabelline style and
In the 15th century a tendency to decorate with flamboyance began to
develop in the
Crown of Castile
Crown of Castile from Flemish , Islamic and Castilian
architecture, which received the name of
Isabelline Gothic because
most of the construction was done at the command of Isabella I of
Castile . These ornaments, which were of progressive complexity, did
not influence the internal structure of the buildings.
Something similar happened in the same period in Portugal, resulting
in what became known as the
PLATERESQUE GOTHIC (LATE 15TH CENTURY–1530)
A movement began in late 15th century
Spain to disguise Gothic
buildings with florid decoration, especially grotesques, but the
superficial application of this principle did not change the spatial
qualities or architectural structure of those buildings. This process
began when the
Renaissance arrived in
Spain and architects began
Renaissance architectural features without understanding the
new ideas behind them, that is, without letting go of medieval forms
Many of the
Plateresque buildings were already built, to which were
added only layers of
Renaissance ornamentation, especially around
openings (windows and doors), and in general, all non-architectural
elements, with some exceptions.
Although the appellation 'Plateresque' is usually applied to the act
of superimposing new
Renaissance elements on forms governed by
medieval guidelines in architecture, this trend is also seen in the
Spanish painting and sculpture of the time.
PLATERESQUE RENAISSANCE (1530–1560)
This is the period in which the
Renaissance had taken hold on the
Iberian Peninsula , although it had not yet reached its peak there.
That event occurred with the amendments by
Juan de Herrera and Philip
Spain to the design of the monastery of
El Escorial , whose
construction began in 1563.
By that time the decoration, though still profuse, is completely
within Italianate parameters and applied to buildings designed
according to the logic of
MONTERREY STYLE (19TH CENTURY AND FIRST THIRD OF 20TH CENTURY)
Palace of Monterrey Facade of the City Hall of
the Plaza de San Francisco work by
Diego de Riaño Main article:
The Monterrey style arose in the 19th century. It was named after the
Palace of Monterrey in
Salamanca , which was built in a
Neo-Plateresque style, an historicism of the Plateresque.
The style survived until the early 20th century, featured in national
and regional 'revivals'. It spread widely, and though not accepted in
the critical circles of academia, some examples can be found on the
Gran Vía of
Mexico there was also a new iteration of
Plateresque which spread
to the Southwestern United States, beginning in the first half of the
18th century. This Neo-plateresque is not to be confused with that of
Spain at the end of 19th and early 20th centuries, the so-called
PLATERESQUE ARCHITECTS AND ARTISTS
* Of First Plateresque.
* Diego de
Alonso de Covarrubias
* Martín de Gainza
Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón
Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón
Gil de Siloé
Andrés de Vandelvira
Diego de Riaño
* Vasco de la Zarza
* Of Neo-Plateresque.
* Eduardo Adaro Magro
* José López Sallaberry
PLATERESQUE BUILDINGS, ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS, AND OTHER WORKS
Convento de San Esteban
* The facade of Convent of San Marcos (León).
* The Tower of
* El castle of the Calle Maqueda.
* La facade of the
University of Salamanca
University of Salamanca .
* The Hospital of the Catholic Monarchs of Santiago de Compostela.
* The facade of the New Cathedral of
* The facade of the Convent of San Esteban of Salamanca.
* The cloister of the Convent of las Dueñas of Salamanca.
* The facade of the Church of Sancti Spiritus of Salamanca.
* The Palace of Monterrey in Salamanca.
* The facade of the
Colegio Mayor de San Ildefonso
Colegio Mayor de San Ildefonso , of the
University of Alcalá de Henares .
Casa de las Conchas
Casa de las Conchas of Salamanca.
* The Convent of San Marcos of León.
* The City Council of
* The facade of Forgiveness and the balcony of the relics of the
Cathedral of Coria.
* The Gate of la Pellejería of the Cathedral of
* The Hospital del Rey of Burgos.
* The antecrypt and retrochoir of the
Cathedral of Palencia
Cathedral of Palencia .
University of Oñati .
* The Porta Maior of
* The ironworks of the
Casa de Pilatos Seville.
* The facade of the Church of Santo Tomás in Haro.
* The pulpit of the Church of San Andrés Apóstol of Villanueva de
* The Main Entrance of the Cathedral of Santa María la Menor of
Dominican Republic .
* The House of the Sun of the
Hearst Castle of San Simeon,
California , USA, based in the Spanish plateresque architecture.
* The Administration Building at
Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University which was
directly inspired by
University of Alcalá .
* The Velarde Palace in
Santillana del Mar .
* Rosary Cathedral in Toledo, Ohio.
* The cloister of the Real Monasterio De San Zoilo , Carrión de los
Condes , Palencia
California Building ,
Bertram Goodhue , architect, 1917
Spanish Colonial Revival architecture style centuries later,
it was differentiated from the earlier and plainer Mission Revival
style with the additional refinement of
Bertram Goodhue and
Carleton Winslow Sr.
studied Spanish Colonial structures in
Mexico before designing the
California Exposition in San Diego,
California , that
introduced this style to the United States and subsequent widespread
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* Al Andalusian
* National catholicism
BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES
* Roman sites
* Royal sites
* Cantabrian defensive towers
* Football stadiums
* Indoor arenas
* Tallest buildings and structures
* Destroyed heritage
* Andalusian White Towns
* Gaudí buildings
* Casona montañesa
Corral de comedias
Spanish Colonial architecture