Plateresco (Spanish: Plateresco; i.e. “jewelry style”) is a style in art and, in particular, in the architecture of medieval Spain and its colonies, which originated in the late 15th century at the junction of late Gothic and early Renaissance and had spread over the next 2 centuries.

It is a modification of the spatial concepts of Gothic and eclectic mixtures of decorative elements of Tuscan origin.

Examples of this kind of syncretism are shields with reliefs and pointed turrets on the facades of buildings, as well as columns built in the spirit of neoclassical revival, and facades of buildings divided into 3 parts (in the revival architecture they consisted of 2 parts).

This style flourished during the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V of Habsburg, especially in Salamanca, as well as in other cities of the Iberian Peninsula, such as Leon and Burgos, and in the territory of the viceroyalty of New Spain (modern Mexico).

Many scientists still consider the plateasque variety as a revival style. For others, it is an independent style, to which the name pro-renaissance is sometimes applied. And some researchers even call the plateresque an early revival, refusing to consider it an independent style, but at the same time separating it from the non-Spanish revival architecture.

The plateresque is characterized by richly decorated facades covered with floral ornaments, candelabra, scallops, fantastic creatures and all kinds of reliefs. However, the spatial layout of the building in the style of Plateresco has a more pronounced Gothic character. Such a fixation on specific elements and their spatial arrangement without structural changes in the Gothic pattern leads to the fact that plateasco is often classified simply as a type of revival architecture.

Be that as it may, regardless of whether the plateresque is to be considered an architectural style, exclusively Spanish, or more broadly European, it is a transitional form between Gothic and Renaissance architectures.

In the viceroyalty of New Spain, plateresco took on its own shape, closely adjoining the heritage of Mudejar architecture and incorporating the architectural traditions of the indigenous people of America.

In Spain, the highest level of development of this style is observed in the city of Salamanca, although its examples can be found in most regions of Spain.

In the 19th century, with the development of architectural historicism, the plateresque style was revived under the name of Monterrey.

Style features

– Spanish platresque

Typical for this style facades, for example, the facades of altars, were made carefully, like jewelers, and were decorated generously. The decor was dominated by floral motifs. In addition, there were in abundance, for example, medallions, heraldic symbols and animal figures.

Plateresko used a variety of building materials, including sheet gold on skates and roofs, capitals of Corinthian columns, etc.

There is evidence that at the end of the first third of the 16th century more polychrome architectural solutions appeared. Then heraldic crests and long balustrades were used as an element of the less overloaded decor.

The extension of the decor to all architectural surfaces has led to the emergence of new surfaces and subspaces, such as niches and edicles, which in turn have become richly decorated.