VELAZQUEZVELAZQUEZ
1599 - 1660

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   More insight More Velazquez´s pictures: "A little history of Art"

The Maids of Honour
(Las Meninas)
Painted around 1656-57.
ORIGINAL SIZE: 125" X 108.6"

This painting is considered one of the worlds greatest works of art , the secret is in creating something revealing in an everyday scene. The painter of "the air" reflects his own workday: in the mirror on the far wall is the reflection of the King and Queen , which is the theme of the painting he is working on, the Princess is looking at her parents, surrounded by her aids and the loyal family dog near by.

Question:
Is the gentleman in the doorway entering the room or exiting it?

Velazquez
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The Maids of Honour
(Detail: Infanta Margarita)

(Las Meninas
Detalle: la Infanta Margarita)
Painted around 1656-57.

Infanta Margarita, the centre-piece of Velazquez´s " Las Meninas " . Never has a painting of an individual of royalty been surrounded by so many activities and objects.
Everyone's attention is directed towards Margarita while she looks at her parents, the King and Queen of Spain who are posing for the painter .
Velazquez
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Velazquez
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The Thread Spinners
(La Fábula de Aracne - Las Hilanderas)
Painted around 1644-48.
ORIGINAL SIZE: 87.5" X 115.3"

Painted around 1644-48 "The Thread Spinners" or "The Fable of Aracne". Another work of his later years, which seems to represent "Aracne´s fable". The spinners composition is like earlier pieces where the principal theme is in the background to the benefit of the theme in the foreground of the painting . Velazquez synthetises this work with an extraordinary knowledge of the pictorial possibilities and the sublime know how of area and perspective.

The Crucified Christ
(El Cristo Crucificado)
Painted around 1632 .
ORIGINAL SIZE: 98.42" X 66.92"

" The Crucified Christ of Velazquez " reflects a serene dramatism, reinforced by an intense black background which contrasts with the illuminated tense muscular body of Christ. The wood absorbing the blood increases the drama of death. Popular culture believes that Velazquez could not copy the expression on the right side of Christ's face, and therefore opted to cover the left side with his falling hair instead.

Velazquez
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Velazquez
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The Infanta Margarita
(La Infanta Margarita)
Painted around 1660.
ORIGINAL SIZE: 50" X 42.12"

According to the strictest of historians this is the last piece painted by Velázquez. He started it around 1660, and it was finished by another painter, Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo.

The Surrender of Breda
(La Rendición de Breda o Las Lanzas)
Painted around 1634-35 .
ORIGINAL SIZE: 87.5" X 115.3"

All of the figures in this painting are portraits of each individual present at this historical event, this work is an account of the very real event, almost a Kodak moment of the 17th century. The keen personal interest of the painter is obvious since one of the individuals in the piece is Velázquez himself.

Curiosity :The man furthest to the right is in fact Velázquez.

Velazquez
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Velazquez
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The Infant Prince Baltasar Carlos Riding a Horse
(El Príncipe Baltasar Carlos a Caballo)
Painted:1634/34.
ORIGINAL SIZE: 82.28" X 68.11"

Painted in 1635, to be placed above the doorway of the living room of kingdoms, in the Palace of the Good Retiro.

Velazquez´s Italian influences (Tiziano) are very evident in this piece, easily identified, the clearest example is his treatment of the landscape that highlights the detail of the prince´s clothes.


The Infant Prince Baltasar Carlos
(El Príncipe Baltasar Carlos)
Painted:1634/35.
ORIGINAL SIZE: 75.19" X 40.55"

A simple composition. Limited above by the outreaching branches,the prince is standing at an angle moving the eye upward through the tree, finishing with the rounded shape of the sleeping dog.

A portrait for the exaltation of a member of the royal family ends up becoming a display of Velazquez´s mastery, and like a great impressionist, the dog to the right shows an animal full of energy and readiness in comparison to the larger sleeping one on the ground.

Velazquez
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Velazquez
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The Epiphany
(La Adoración de los Magos)
Painted: around 1619.
ORIGINAL SIZE: 80.31" X 49.80"

The Epiphany is very different from the rest of Velazquez´s religious scene paintings. In this painting, the evangelical episode is the primary focus, supported by naturalistic representation. The composition centres on one image, the radiant Virgin and son (Jesus), whose countenances are shaped by the light, while the rest of the characters -Saint Joseph, the wise Kings, and their servants- are accentuated by hard contrasts of light and shade.

The Drunkards or The Triumph of Bacchus
(El Triunfo de Baco o Los Borrachos)
Painted around 1628-29.
ORIGINAL SIZE: 65.15" X 87.56"

This is an excursion in mythology adapting it to the mundane, he encircles the young Bacchus with peasants. Influences of the schools of Rubens and Tiziano are evident throughout this piece.

Velazquez
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Velazquez
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Vulcan's Blacksmiths Shop
(La Fragua de Vulcano)
Painted 1630.
ORIGINAL SIZE: 87.79" X 114.17"

While in Madrid, Velazquez admired Tiziano and Rubens. In Italy, he studied the works of Rafael and Michelangelo. Vulcan's Blacksmiths Shop shows Velazquez´s first echelon of maturity. Influenced by the great masters, his paintings became deeper, richer, and more luminous. Figures developed sleeker bodies. However, he still painted scenes of everyday life with cheerful characteristics and a simple representation of human activities.


 
More Velazquez´s pictures: "A little history of Art"
 
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