There have been many talented and influential Spaniards throughout history. From prominent painters, writers, and poets from years gone by to Hollywood celebrities and singers who are still entertaining us today, Spain has more like a few famous individuals. Some of the best -known include:
Spain is the home of many great artists, and Pablo Picasso is arguably the most famous. Born and raised in Spain before moving to France, Picasso became one of the influential artists of the first half of the 20th century. As well as pioneering Cubism, he also invented collage and contributed greatly to Surrealism.
Whilst there have been fifteen Spanish Formula one drivers, none has equalled the success of Fernando Alonso. Not only did he win the World Drivers' Championship twice, but he is also the only driver from Spain to win a Grand Prix. He currently races for Alpine in Formula One.
Miguel de Cervantes
Back in 1547, one of the greatest writers in the Spanish language was born. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra is best known for writing the novel Don Quixote, which is often cited as being both the first modern novel and one of the peaks of world literature.
Another sports star to make our list of famous Spanish people is Rafael Nadal. Currently ranked number 2, "Rafa" is one of the world’s most successful tennis players. He has won 20 Grand Slam men’s singles titles, which is the most in history (tied with Roger Federer).
Antonio Banderas is undoubtedly one of Spain's most famous faces. An international film star, he became best-known for playing Zorro in the 1998 movie. He’s been active in the acting world in recent years, earning various accolades for the 2019 film Pain and Glory.
Another famous painter on our list is Salvador Dali. A Spanish surrealist artist, he became world-renowned for his vast technical skill and explorations of subconscious imagery. To conjure images from his subconscious mind, he started to induce hallucinatory states in himself. This process was described as “paranoiac critical.”
Spanish singer-songwriter Julio Iglesias was most famous during the ‘70s and ‘80s. However, you’d be hard pushed to find someone in Spain (or the world!) who hasn’t heard of him. Iglesias is one of the top-selling recording artists in music history, having sold over 100 million records globally in 14 different languages.
Federico García Lorca
Federico García Lorca was a famous poet from Spain. Born in Andalucía in 1898, he went on to publish many volumes of poetry, such as Impresiones y paisajes and Romancero Gitano. He enjoyed exploring love and tragedy and his influences were mainly Gypsy culture, Spanish folklore, and Flamenco. Lorca’s political views and homosexuality led to him being executed in 1936.
As you can see, Spain has many famous people. Whilst some are no longer with us, they’ve certainly taken their places in the history books.