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Renaissance Century.

The 14th century was an extraordinary prolific epoch during which the influence of Italian Humanism was widely felt. Some of the leading literary figures of the times were Juan Ruiz, the archpriest of Hita, who wrote the 'Libro del Buen Amor'; Juan Manuel, nephew of Alfonso X and the creator of the 'Conde Lucanor', and the royal chancellor of Castile, Pedro Lopez de Ayala, author of the 'Cronicas' and the verses 'Rimado de Palacio'.

Beginning in the 15th century, literature became more lyrical and courtly in preparation of the ideological transition from medieval to Renaissance ideas at the onset of the Modern Age. The Marquis of Santillana, one of the age's principal figures (1398-1458), introduced the sonnet in Spain, wrote alegorical and lyrical poetry, collected proverbs and is remembered for his 'serranillas' (pastoral songs). Other great authors -Juan de Mena (Laberinto de la Fortuna); the archpriest of Talavera (Corbacho) and the brilliant Jorge Manrique -whose 'Coplas' were written on the death of his father- shaped an extremely valuable poetic panorama.

The period during which Spanish Gothic and the Renaissance imported from Italy converged, coincided with the development of the Universities (Alcala de Henares and Salamanca) which combined elements of both architectural styles and produced the Plateresque style. The Castilian language was consolidated with the publication of first applied grammar of a vernacula language, the 'Arte de la Lengua Castellana'.

Prose writers no longer concentrating on collections of short stories and oriental-style fables but rather on novels, among which the very successful chivalric romances would become especially prominent. The first, and probably the best, of this genre was 'Amadis de Gaula'.

In theatre there was also notable development, Juan de Encina's plays (1469-1529) reflected secular life. But the great revolution in all spheres would be ushered in with the publication od 'La Celestina o Tragicomedia de Calixto y Melibea', Spain's second most important liteary work after 'Don Quixote'.