This course examines the life and afterlife of the Spanish artists of the Golden Age, whose achievements reached unprecedented heights in the 17th century. Centuries later, their works took on new roles as artists of other times and cultures found their own inspiration in works of the past: Manet copied Velázquez, Picasso copied El Greco, and (famously on "Project Runway") Christian Soriano copied Murillo. What allowed these complex works to resonate so strongly in another era? Is such influence automatically a sign of success? And why have the works of Francisco Goya inspired more filmmakers than any other artist? Students will be introduced to the reading of visual art for stylistic, historical, and political content and develop a critical understanding of art and society in Golden Age Spain, as well as insights into the role of art as a cultural currency.