WEFOUNDA Manual of Spanish Art and Literature (1866 )

Baltasar Gracián y Morales , SJ ( Spanish pronunciation:  [baltaˈsar ɣɾaˈθjan] ; 8 January 1601 – 6 December 1658), better known as Baltasar Gracián , was a Spanish Jesuit and baroque prose writer and philosopher . He was born in Belmonte , near Calatayud ( Aragon ). His writings were lauded by Schopenhauer and Nietzsche .

The son of a doctor, in his childhood Gracián lived with his uncle, who was a priest . He studied at a Jesuit school in 1621 and 1623 and theology in Zaragoza. He was ordained in 1627 and took his final vows in 1635.

Gracián is the most representative writer of the Spanish Baroque literary style known as Conceptismo (Conceptism), of which he was the most important theoretician; his Agudeza y arte de ingenio ( Wit and the Art of Inventiveness ) is at once a poetic , a rhetoric and an anthology of the conceptist style.