One of his enemies was to say 'he only knows how to paint heads'. It is an unusual means of decoration. Passing to Rome, he was well received by such leading artists as Bernini, Poussin and 1615-73. In the shadows behind them is the ladies' governess Marcela de Ulloa, and an usher; standing in the open doorway is Don Jose de Nieto Velazquez, the marshal of the queen's palace, who draws aside a curtain through which light enters, gently adding to - and competing with - that from another source, an unseen window on the right. The picture was finished about 1635, ten years after the event commemorated. Spanish painter Diego de Silva y Velázquez 1599-1660 was one of the most renowned artists of the Baroque era. As if to show that he could still paint a conventional subject in a conventional way, when Velazquez was commanded, about 1641, to paint a Coronation of the Virgin for the queen's oratory, he produced a picture that at first sight might have been made a century earlier, in, say, Brescia.
The picture is composed like a scene from a play, with all the actors in their pre-planned positions, around the central blonde figure of the five-year old Infanta Margarita Teresa 1651-73. The bright melon and the boy's solemn face, his left hand, and the woman's hands pull the viewer's eyes in and around the scene. After five years of studying under Pacheco, the older artist consented to giving Velázquez his daughter's hand in marriage. The woman brandishing a sword represents the Greek goddess Athena, who challenged the prideful mortal Arachne to a weaving contest. Velázquez married Juana Pacheco in 1618, at the ripe old age of nineteen and the couple had two daughters together. Although the subject matter is decidedly more humble than his portraits of kings and their accompanying entourages and historical situations, Velazquez treats the subjects of this painting with the same masterful touches signature to his artistic voice. Mujica, who fictionalized an answer to this riddle in her novel, says no one knows for sure, though it is known that Velázquez did not paint the work during his two stays in Italy.
Justin, whom Velázquez never met, is turned away from the viewer and his face is dark; Spinola, whom the artist knew from Philip's court, looks out toward the viewer and his face is highlighted. It could be said that Velázquez had a greater influence on European art than any other painter. It is one of the few official Velazquezes that seem to be joyously executed, as if he had emerged from long effort into a realm of effortless and rapturous creation. Velázquez would revisit this two-scene concept in later works. He then painted his famous portrait of the Pope, which was considered to be one of the finest portraits in Italy at the time. His best known works include his masterpieces Portrait of Pope Innocent X c.
For the greatest portraitists see:. Yet the picture gives the sense of great variety and richness of colour. At the tender age of 11 he began work as an apprentice to famous Mannerist painter, Pacheco, who could be credited for Velázquez's early development of his artistic skills. Indeed the fury of Herrera's workmanship, his combing and streaking heavy loadings of pigment about, must have been distasteful to a pupil who from the first sought refinement and reticence. Though he worked hard to become the most celebrated painter in Spain, Velázquez saw it as a means to power and prestige. The many diagonals pull us into and around the composition. I sometimes think one must have been a horseman fully to appreciate these equestrian portraits of Velazquez.
Velazquez's masterpiece Las Meninas The Ladies in Waiting , has become one of the most analyzed works in Western painting. Perhaps no other portrait in the world grips so promptly and holds so strongly every sort of beholder. When the eye focuses on such points, the mass and projection of the whole figure is only vaguely seen and apprehended. The full lights on the head and sleeve of the figure, and on the kitchen gear, are most subtly modulated - no repetition, no wide intervals. Note, for example, the surprisingly abstract depiction of the artist's hand and palette in Las Meninas, or the similarly abstract treatment of the little dog's body in the portrait of the.
Knighthood promptly followed this honour. Such artists have demonstrated their love for the works of Velázquez by recreating some of his most noted paintings. The background is immersed in darkness, creating a theatrical effect that renders his subjects, even in their mundaneness, as grand central figures as if spot lit upon a stage. At what or at who is his glance directed, and what are the Infanta, the attendant, and the tiny woman gazing at? Spanish society was obsessed with nobility, and unlike in Italy, the visual arts were emphatically not equated with noble pursuits like literature or philosophy. Some of his greatest paintings include 'Cristo Crucifado' 1632 , the portrait of Pope Innocent X 1650 and ' Las Meninas' 1656. Diego Velázquez was hailed a father of the Spanish school of art and is one of the greatest artists that ever lived.
Today there are many different copies and replicas of this portrait in galleries across the world. His return to Madrid signalled his most dramatic period and he produced some of his most celebrated works. In 1623, aged 24 Diego Velázquez moved to Madrid with an aim to further his artistic career and it wasn't long before he found great success. Diego Velázquez was born in 1599 to a noble Sevillian family. Velázquez's style can be characterized by its simplicity, dignity, restrained palette, and loose, impressionistic brushstroke. In these paintings the problem of lighting begins to be considered, where Velazquez opts for a sinister and obscure style, much like the style of Caravaggio.
A Florentine, who before painting fixed his composition irrevocably in a cartoon, would have been shocked at such a procedure. He is still far from the thoroughgoing luminism of his last years. The Menippus seems to be merely a varying luminous surface which becomes face, features, body, drapery, by some magical modulation of tone and light. The Venetian compromise between decorative and optical effect was to dominate his art beneficially for nearly twenty years. Salvator questioned him as to his favourite Italian painters and heard with amazement that did not please Velazquez at all. In general, however, Velázquez learned many lessons from the Venetians, especially from their rendering of fabrics and materials.