How The British Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Spanish Masters

“For an absurdly long time, the British loathed Spain. Memories of the Armada, coupled with fears about the stern and terrifying Catholicism of the Spanish Inquisition, ensured that Grand Tour aristocrats preferred to visit Italy. But after the Napoleonic army invaded Spain in the early 19th century, attitudes swiftly changed. … At the same time British artists and collectors [alike] discovered, with a sense of wonder, that Spain had produced some of the most outstanding western painters.”