It’s day 23 of the Culture Tourist Art Blogmas. And I’m sharing one of the most famous artworks located in Europe with you, Diego Velázques and his Las Meninas.
Art Blogmas 2021
Diego Velázques is considered the leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age. He made one of his most famous paintings, Las Meninas, in 1656.
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Diego Velázques: Las Meninas
⤷ Where is it? Prado Museum, Madrid
The scene is set up in the main chamber of the Alcázar Castle in Madrid. By the way Velázques created the composition, we feel that we’re not looking at the painting but rather participating in the scene ourselves. We see the back of the painting on an easel on the left and several figures in the mirrors in the back of the room. All of that makes us a bit confused by the space in which the characters are standing. But, also by the borders between the worlds: the one of the painter and his model, and one of the people in the painting, and us, observing it.
Diego Velázques was the court painter for 33 years before creating this painting. He was close with the family of King Philip IV and knew them quite well. He wasn’t only a court painter for Philip. Velázques also took care of and curated King’s collection of European fine arts.
A couple we can see in a mirror are King and Queen. Velázques painted himself, as well, working on the painting. There are numerous interpretations about the painting he’s working on it here. Is it a portrait of a royal couple we can see in a mirror? Or is he working on Las Meninas? We can’t say for sure.
The painting has quite an exciting history. It was cut both on the left and right sides. And was also damaged in a fire that happened in the Alcázar Castle in the 18th century.
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