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Spain is the homeland of many famous artists, with Spanish speakers known for producing magnificent and culturally significant works in the spheres of painting, sculpting, architecture, literature, dance, music, and theater.
A scene as colorful and vibrant as the Spanish art scene also has a lot of vibrant and colorful words to describe and talk about art. Whether you want to study Spanish art or just want to be able to make better small talk, you should take the time to learn these 37 Spanish art words.
How to pronounce? ahr-the/ ahr-tehs
What does it mean? Art or arts
Of course, the first thing you need to learn is the word for art in Spanish. When talking about art in general, just say the singular “arte”, if you are talking about the field of the arts, use the plural “artes”.
How to pronounce? ahr-tees-tah
What does it mean? Artist
If you are talking about a male artist, add “el”, so that would be “el artista”. If you are talking about a female artist, add “la”, so that would be “la artista”.
How to pronounce? ahr-tees-tah deh-koh-noh-see-doh/de-koh-noh-see-dah
What does it mean? Unknown artist (masculine/feminine)
Sometimes artworks are celebrated even if the identity of the artist who created them has been lost to us. This is how you refer to an “unknown artist” in Spanish.
How to pronounce? ahr-tees-toh/tah fah-moh-soh/fah-moh-sah
What does it mean? Famous artist
This is the Spanish art word for an artist who has become renowned for their artwork. Many Spanish artists are known beyond just Spanish-speaking countries and have become recognized around the world.
How to pronounce? moo-seh-oh
What does it mean? Museum
One of the most common Spanish travel phrases that beginners will be advised to learn is “donde es” or “where is”. If you are looking for a museum, you say “donde es museo?”. Many places in Spain, be they a big city or a small town, should have one or two museums showcasing works of local or internationally renowned Spanish artists. People will surely be proud to help you discover the beauty of their local art scene and point you towards the “museo”.
How to pronounce? ehks-poh-see-syohn deh ahr-teh
What does it mean? Art exhibit
Where ever you go in Spain, you should make it a point to look out for local art exhibits that you can attend. It’s a great way to not only learn more about Spanish art and culture but to meet friendly locals as well. Spanish people take pride in the accomplishments of their countrymen and will be eager to tell you more about the artists featured in the exhibits.
How to pronounce? peen-too-rah
What does it mean? Painting/Paint
This is a word for the product of a painter, their painting, and also what they use to create it, the paint. It can also be used to describe the particular art field of painting. There are many popular, influential, and renowned Spanish painters, but one of the most famous has got to be Pablo Picasso, the father of the cubist movement.
How to pronounce? peen-tahr
What does it mean? To paint
This is a verb and it describes the act of painting. So, if you attend a painting class, this is what you will learn to do.
How to pronounce? peen – tor/peen-tor -ah
What does it mean? Painter (masculine/feminine)
Again, depending on whether it’s a male or a female, you should also use el/la as appropriate. Both these words describe someone who paints for fun, a living, or because it is their passion.
How to pronounce? el kuh-luhr
What does it mean? The colors
One of the best ways to make “small talk” about a painting is to talk about the colors that the painter used and how they make you feel.
How to pronounce? la ah-kwah-reh-lah
What does it mean? The watercolor
This refers to a particular style of painting that uses the type of paint known as “watercolors”.
How to pronounce? la peen-too-rah ahl oh-leh-oh
What does it mean? The oil painting
This is another type of painting that is done with oil paints.
How to pronounce? pay-sah-hees-moh
What does it mean? Landscape painting
This type of painting is named after the subject material. It focuses on capturing images of natural scenery such as forests or mountains.
How to pronounce? kah-bah-yeh-teh
What does it mean? Easel
An easel is a wooden frame that is used to hold a canvas or other piece of material which a painter will paint on.
How to pronounce? lyehn -sho
What does it mean? Canvas
The canvas is the actual surface on which a painter works on. During the act of painting, a painter may place their canvas on an easel.
How to pronounce? los peen-sehl-es
What does it mean? Paintbrushes
This is one of the basic instruments or tools needed by a painter. It is how they apply paint to a canvas.
How to pronounce? oh-leh-oh
What does it mean? Oil paint
This is a specific type of paint, which consists of pigment mixed into linseed oil.
How to pronounce? ah-kwah-reh-laht
What does it mean? Watercolor paints
This is another common type of paint where the pigments are mixed into a water-based solution.
How to pronounce? treh-mehn-tee-nah
What does it mean? Turpentine
This is a solvent solution that is used to modify the viscosity of oil paints to create different hues and effects.
How to pronounce? bohs-keh-hoh
What does it mean? Sketch
This is usually defined as a rough pencil drawing. The drawing itself might be the finished artwork, or it can be an outline that a painter will use as a visualization guide. They will fill in the sketch with color using paints.
How to pronounce: dee-boo-hoh
What does it mean: A drawing or the act of drawing
This is the Spanish word for a drawing, which is a rendering created by an artist using paper and drawing instruments such as pencils, charcoal, pens, or colored pencils or crayons. It is also used to describe the actual act of drawing. So, if someone asks what you learned in art class, you can say “dibujo”.
How to pronounce? dee-boo-hahr
What does it mean? To draw
This is a verb that talks about the act of creating a drawing or a sketch.
How to pronounce? lah-pees
What does it mean? Pencil
A pencil is a basic material or instrument that you use to create a drawing.
How to pronounce? lah-pees deh koh-lohr
What does it mean? Colored pencil
Colored pencils are a special type of pigmented pencils which leave marks on paper in different colors.
How to pronounce? kahr-bohn-see-yoh
What does it mean? Charcoal or charcoal drawing
Charcoal pencils are a special type of pencils that can be used to create darker or lighter lines than you would get with an ordinary pencil.
How to pronounce? boh-lee-grah-foh
What does it mean? Pen
A pen is another type of drawing instrument. Pen’s use ink so the lines created using a pen are more permanent than those created using pencil or charcoal.
How to pronounce? krah-yohn
What does it mean? Crayons
A crayon is a stick of pigmented wax that can be used in drawing. Each crayon comes in a different color, which allows you to add color to your drawing.
How to pronounce? ehs-kool-too-rah
What does it mean? Sculpture
Sculpture is an art form where the artist forms, molds, or carves three-dimensional art pieces from solid material.
How to pronounce? ehs-tah-twah
What does it mean? Statue
A statue is a sculpture that depicts a realistic figure of a person or an animal.
How to pronounce? ehs-kool-tohr/ehs-kool-tohr-ah
What does it mean? Sculptor (masculine/feminine)
This is the Spanish art word for someone who specializes in sculpture. One of the greatest Spanish artists is a man called Alonso Berruguete who was a painter, architect, and sculptor.
How to pronounce? pyeh-drah
What does it mean? Stone
This is a common medium that a sculptor works with.
How to pronounce? ahr-see-yah
What does it mean? Clay
This is another medium that a sculptor can use to mold or form a sculpture or statue.
How to pronounce? mah-deh-rah
What does it mean? Wood
Some sculptors like to work with wood, carving it into various forms and figures.
How to pronounce? el muv-mihnt ahr-tees-tee-hoh
What does it mean? Artistic movement
An artistic movement is a specific style of art that is followed by a certain group of artists who was active during a particular time.
How to pronounce it? koo-bees-moh
What does it mean? Cubism
This is an example of an artistic movement. It’s is a 20th-century movement that was pioneered by the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso.
How to pronounce it? rreh-ah-lees-moh
What does it mean? Realism
Realism or naturalism is an art movement where the artist attempts to create an image that represents the subject truthfully or realistically.
How to pronounce it? ahr-teh moh-dehr-noha
What is it? Modern art
The modern art movement covers art produced from the 1860s to the 1970s. Modern artists broke from realistic traditions and tried to look at their subjects in new ways and depict them using new techniques.
One of the best ways to develop fluency in Spanish is to learn enough common words and phrases to enable you to hold conversations with native Spanish speakers.
While learning enough Spanish to order a meal or to talk about your life may be a great goal for beginners, if you really want to make a good impression on native speakers is to be able to hold an interesting conversation.
Learn how to talk about movies or music to have more interesting conversations with native Spanish speakers. This will help you form better relationships and make friends quicker as you can then bond over common interests.
Another good common interest that you can share with native Spanish speakers is an interest in the arts. Learn more about Spain’s rich artistic tradition and history and you are bound to have a lot of interesting questions and opinions that you can use to impress Spanish speakers.
Learn these Spanish art words and more to develop your ability to talk about the Spanish art scene. Download the list of words here and memorize them. We highly suggest you take this list to an online native Spanish-speaking tutor. They will be able to tell you more about Spanish art and advise you on how best to use these words to start and sustain a conversation.
Arte/Artes, Artista, Artista desconocido/desconocida, Artisto/a famoso/a, Museo, Exhibición de arte, Pintura
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