Exploring The Great Palace-Monastery of El Escorial with Marta López Beriso

Exploring The Great Palace-Monastery of El Escorial with Marta López Beriso


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Nestled in the foothills of Castile, just north of Madrid, the Palace Monastery of El Escorial is full of compelling contradictions. From its austere facade, to its opulent decor, this interactive seminar seeks to explore the art, architecture and legacy of the UNESCO World Heritage site in Spanish culture and beyond.

By exploring this palace-monastery, and mystic retreat of King Philip II, we also explore the great power of 16th European monarchies. King Philip II devoted his life to El Escorial, decorating more than eight acres of the austere palace and monastery with paintings, tapestries, sculptures, furniture, and precious objects. During this seminar, we will explore the different spaces to gain deep insight into classical Renaissance Humanism.

Led by art historian and Madrid-based professor, Marta López Beriso, this interactive seminar will unveil the complex iconography of the art and architecture of this “8th Wonder of the World”. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an understanding of the deep impact and influence that this Palace-Monastery and it’s champion, Philip II, had on European and Spanish history.

Professor Marta López Beriso is an active scholar and educator in the field of Art History. She teaches at various American universities in Madrid. She holds degrees in Art History and Archaeology (B.A. Université de La Sorbonne-Paris IV), Arts and Culture Administration (M.A. Universidad de Barcelona), and a PhD in Art History, expertise in History of Photography (Universidad Complutense de Madrid). She is also the founder and director of “Aulas de Arte”, a private non-profit organization, dedicated to educational services in museums, nationwide and internationally. Born and raised in Madrid, she has studied in Paris and also worked in New York at the beginning of her professional career, at MOMA. Back in Madrid she feels the city as a cosmopolitan insider. She knows both the historical and traditional Madrid she discovered with her mother and grandmother as well as the most contemporary and alternative side of the city.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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