Great Artists: Velazquez

The Spanish painter, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez, was  the most acclaimed  artist in the court of Spain’s King Philip IV during the Spanish Golden Age.
In addition to numerous renditions of scenes of historical and cultural significance, he painted scores of portraits of the Spanish royal family as well as commoners, culminating in his masterpiece Las Meninas (1656).

Velazquez was also leading European painter of the Baroque period which lasted  from the early 1600s to to around 1750. He began to paint in a precise and dramatic tenebrist style  which employed violent contrasts of light and dark, and where darkness became a dominating feature of the image. But he later developing a freer manner characterized by bold brushwork.

Velázquez’s paintings became a model for 19th-century realist and impressionist painters. In the 20th century, artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and Francis Bacon paid tribute to Velázquez by re-interpreting some of his most iconic images.

Most of his work entered the Spanish royal collection, and by far the best collection is in the Museo del Prado in Madrid , though some portraits were sent abroad as diplomatic gifts, especially to the Austrian Habsburgs.

Destination – Spain