Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez

VELÁZQUEZ

Such day as today (June the 6th) in the year of 1599 was born Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez in San Pedro´s quarters, Seville.

velazquez home Home of Velázquez.

 

  Today we want to approach to the greatest genius of the art of painting, as Manet called him, and it is difficult to write a brief outline about his life and work, so big is his dimension. Velazquez will change everything, his influence in the painting history is immeasurable, the graphic testimony that he leave for us about life in the 17th century, and the ideas and the concerns, deserves all our admiration. As a portrait painter is unequalled, and there are so much that we do not know to choose, we are amazed by the portrait of Pope Innocent X, of Góngora, Of Juan Pareja, of Pablo de Valladolid or Don Sebastián de Mora, of those little princes and infantas, and also the beggars, the common people, that smiling drunken man staring at us next to Baccus, or the triumphal Virgin Mary being crowned…the variety of subjects is huge and the view of his works  is endless. Being a child his talent was noticeable, and he will be an apprentice , very young, at Francisco Pacheco´s workshop, who later will  be his father in law. Pacheco had a wide artistic culture (he wrote the essay The Art of Painting) and he knew to transmit to his young learner the art and methods of the Italian Renaissance painters.  Velázquez´s mastery will introduce him in the Royal Court in his twenties. In Madrid he is going to study and admire the paintings of the royal collection and he will also travel to Italy to keep on learning from the Italian masters. Velázquez learns, absorbs, assimilates, but his style is personal, he has such a big talent that he never imitates. The lighting, the atmospheres, the landscapes or his still lives, even if backgrounds, are treated in such a perfect  or innovative way that they catch our attention.

The Portrait of Pope Innocent X The Portrait of Pope Innocent X

 

  Velázquez is the key figure to make painting to be a noble art, not a craft, in the Spain of his time. The best homage we can pay him is to admire his work time and again.