Velasquez Power Point

(Diego De Silva Velazquez)
“His men and women seem to breath.”
His Life
In 1599, he was born in Seville, Spain
Beginning at age 12, he served as
apprentice for 5 years to Francisco
Pacheco, an artist in Seville.
In 1618, he married his mentor’s
daughter, Juana. They had 2
daughters, Ignacia and Francisca.
His Life—Con’t.
He went to Madrid in 1623 to paint a
portrait of King Phillip IV and won
immediate success and appointment as
the court painter.
He was named the “Artist of the Royal
Chamber” and became a friend of the
king as well as the favorite artist of the
royal family.
His Life—Con’t.
He went to Italy for 2 years in 1629 to
learn techniques of Italian masters
such as Titian, who had the greatest
influence on his style.
He painted a portrait of Pope Innocent
X which won him immediate and
lasting fame in Italy.
In August of 1660, he died at the age of
His Style
He painted varied subjects including
portraits of the royal family,
landscapes, mythological and
religious subjects, and scenes of
common life.
A master of realism, he used
exquisite detail and it is said that he
captured the souls of the people he
His Style-Con’t.
He painted everyone with equal
dignity and realism from the lowest
peasant to the highest noble.
He established the importance of
using light & shadow to create the
illusion of distance.
He is called “The Painter’s Painter”
because he is said to have the
greatest influence on Western art
than any other painter.
His Style-Con’t.
*Legend: it is said that he signed his
works “pintor del rey” (the king’s
painter) and that the king then
changed it to “el rey de los pintores”
(the king of painters)
“I’d rather be the first painter of
common things that second in higher
art.” (Velazquez)
Las Meninas 1656 (his magnus opus)
1. Creates a remarkable illusion of
reality never surpassed by himself
or any other artist of his age
2. Nearly life-sized figures; canvas is
11 feet by 9 feet so many 19th
century critics saw this as an
anticipation of the invention of
the camera, capturing a
“snapshot” in time and space.
3. This is a casual scene showing
himself painting a portrait of the
king and queen in the presence of
La Infanta Margarita and her
Las Meninas 1656 (his magnus opus)
Many complexities make this one of
the most talked about paintings in the
The infanta is the most central figure
and the light from the window on the
right falls on her more that the
surrounding figures
She and the figures around her look
outward thus acknowledging the
presence of the viewers (us)
Las Meninas 1656 (his magnus opus)
We are made to be part of
the painting in this wayobserver & observed
Our role is revealed by the
image in the mirror, we are
in the position of the king
and queen
But, due to the position of
the mirror, the reflection is
not of the king and queen
but of their image on the
canvas on which Velazquez
is painting.
So, Velazquez places us in
the painting next to the king
& queen as they pose thus
making us part of royalty
Forge of Vulcan (1630)
1. Portrays the movement in
Roman mythology when
Apollo comes to tell Vulcan
that his wife, Venus, is
having an affair with Mars,
the god of war. He tells him
this as Vulcan is in the
process of forging weapons
of war for Mars.
2. He emphasizes the action of
the telling, the surprised
looks on the other smiths
and the look of fury in
Vulcan’s face.
3. While Apollo has an aura of
light, he as well as Vulcan
look like ordinary people and
they are not idealized.
Surrender at Breda (1634-1635)
1. Breda was a city near the
frontier of Holland proper.
2. The siege of Breda was a clash
between two famous generals,
Spinola of Spain and Nassau of
the Netherlands. Nassau led
hostilities against Spinola but
died before the end of the siege.
His successor unsuccessfully
attempted to revive Dutch
momentum, but ultimately
surrendered in May.
8. Spignola’s success and bravery
in the battle inspired this
painting as an emblem of
Spanish nationalism and as a
tribute to Ambrogio Spinola.
Surrender at Breda (1634-1635)
The focus of the painting is not
on the battle itself, but rather the
act of reconciliation. The center
of the painting is focused on the
key being given to Spinola.
The terms of defeat at Breda
were some of the most honorable
and lenient of the time. The
painting demonstrates the
glimpses of humanity that can be
exposed as a result of war, and
commends Spinola’s
consideration for Nassau and the
Dutch army. Velazquez capturees
a moment of convergence
between Spanish power, restraint,
and kindness in the battle.
Woman Frying Eggs (1618)
1. Shows the use of light and dark
to create an almost
photographic image
2. A strong light source
illuminates the woman, her
utensils, and the eggs
3. The background and the boy
are in deep shadow
4. Demonstrates extreme realism
with great detail given to
everyday plates, cutlery, pans,
pestles, jugs and mortars
5. Captures a moment in time