Spain is the cradle of universal renowned writers such as Miguel de Cervantes, Juan Ramón Jiménez and Federico García Lorca, among many others. Today, our country continues to have many great authors. Spain is also the ninth largest publishing market in the world. Eduardo Mendoza, Arturo Pérez-Reverte (the Spanish current author with more translated works), Almudena Grandes, Manuel Rivas, Javier Marías and Carlos Ruiz Zafón are some of narrative authors who have succeeded across the globe. Furthermore, Spanish 'best-selling' writers such as María Dueñas, with El Tiempo entre costuras (The Time in Between), and Dolores Redondo, with La Trilogía del Baztán (The Baztan Trilogy), stand out worldwide.
The history of Spanish art started more than 35,000 years ago. In the Paleolithic, our ancestors painted the Cave of Altamira, in Cantabria, considered to be the ‘Sistine Chapel’ of cave painting. Since then, a long list of artists has painted brilliant masterpieces, which we can admire in museums all over the world. Any art lover knows Spanish renowned artists such as Velázquez, Zurbarán, Murillo, Goya, Dalí, Picasso, Miró, Sorolla, etc. Other current artists are Antonio López, Miquel Barceló and Antoni Tàpies, among many others.
Flamenco, ballet and contemporary dance are part of the dance tradition in Spain. In this regard, our country has world-class dancers such as Víctor Ullate, Nacho Duato, Tamara Rojo, Ángel Corella, Lucía Lacarra and Igor Yebra, in classical and contemporary dance. In 2010, flamenco was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. It represents one of the greatest treasures of Spanish cultural heritage and it is the most international Spanish artistic expression. Sara Baras, Honorary Ambassador of Marca España, is one of the internationally well-known Spanish flamenco dancers. Last but not least, we should mention that the Spanish National Ballet is the great ambassador of Spanish dance all over the world.
The Spanish talent and creativity has highlighted throughout the film's history. We have many professionals who succeed in Spain and abroad, both in front of and behind the cameras. The filmmaker, Luis Buñuel was a pioneer and a master of many other talents such as Pedro Almodóvar, Álex de la Iglesia, Julio Medem, Alejandro Amenábar, Juan Antonio Bayona and Isabel Coixet. Spanish actors such as Antonio Banderas, Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Victoria Abril, Carmen Maura and Eduardo Noriega are also presented in the world's screens.
Spanish music has always been composed by brilliant artists who have crossed borders such as Raphael, who continues to succeed in every concert; Joaquín Sabina, Joan Manuel Serrat, Julio Iglesias, Luz Casal, Alejandro Sanz, Enrique Iglesias, Manolo García, David Bisbal and Fito, among many others. We also have popular groups such as Vetusta Morla, Russian Red, Amaral, M Clan, Extremoduro, Fangoria and Maldita Nerea.
In terms of both lyric and classical music, our most international tenor is Plácido Domingo along with Montserrat Caballé, Josep Carreras, Ainhoa Arteta, María Bayo and José Bros. But there are also new talents such as Celso Albelo, Simón Órfila and Mariola Cantarero. In the field of direction and musical composition, we should highlight three great names. On the one hand, Inma Shara, who is one of the most recognized orchestra conductors of international classical music and she has been awarded with the European Excellence Award. On the other hand, the two young composers and orchestra conductors Fernando Velázquez and Lucas Vidal, who have millions of spectators and captivates Hollywood with their soundtracks.
The quality and design of Spanish creators shine worldwide. Since the beginning of this industry, Spain has been at the design’s top level thanks to Cristóbal Balenciaga, Manuel Pertegaz, Paco Rabanne, Armand Basi and Elio Berhanyer. Afterwards, Jesus del Pozo, Adolfo Domínguez and Pedro del Hierro continued to internationalize Spanish fashion. In recent years, Amaya Arzuaga, Purificación García, Manuel Mota (Pronovias), Juan Duyos, Juanjo Oliva, Devota & Lomba, David Delfín and Custo Dalmau have succeeded in catwalks all over the world. Young talents such as Roberto Etxeberria, Álex Vidal, Jorge Acuña, María Escoté, Nacho Aguayo and Palomo Spain demonstrate that the Spanish fashion industry have a bright future in our country. If we talk about the footwear sector, we cannot forget to mention Manolo Blahnik, from Canary Islands, who is one of the most prestigious footwear designers worldwide.
The Spanish creativity also triumphs in architecture thanks to our entrepreneurship character and ingenuity. There are relevant projects and initiatives abroad which are Marca España because they mix avant-garde technique and design. Rafael Moneo, Juan Herreros, Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra, Antonio Cruz and Antonio Ortiz and Santiago Calatrava have designed emblematic architectural works around the world.
Spanish cuisine is full of creativity. The word ‘tapa’ does not need translation to be understood everywhere. In fact, this little snack is one of the best Marca España ambassadors. Traditional recipes and innovative gourmet cuisine live together in Spanish gastronomy. Juan Mari Arzak, Pedro Subijana, Martín Berasategui, Ferrán Adriá, the Roca brothers, Andoni Luis Aduriz, Carme Ruscalleda, Sergi Arola, Daviz Muñoz, Paco Roncero, Elena Arzak, Eneko Atxa, Susi Díaz, Ángel León and Dani García are some of the chefs who have helped to place Spanish cuisine on the world’s podium.