Diego Velazquez

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Diego Velazquez

Diego Velazquez

~As Velazquez matured as an artist, he "abandoned Pacheco's old-fashioned style" and started "painting directly from life" (metmuseum.org).~In his early works, "Velazquez specialized in kitchen scenes...with religious scenes relegated to the background" (metmuseum.org).

~"Diego Rodriguez de Silva Velazquez was born in Seville, Spain circa June 6, 1599" (biography.com).~When Velazquez was eleven years old, he began an apprenticeship at the academy of Fransisco Pacheco, where Velazquez "learned the techniques of painting in an idealizing style grounded in Catholic propriety" (metmuseum.org).

~"In 1629, Velazquez moved to Madrid, where...he earned the chance to paint a portrait of...the Count-Duke of Olivares" Impressed by Velazquez, the count-duke "then recommended...[his]... services to King Philip IV" (biography.com).~When King Philip IV saw the "completed portrait...[he]...decided that no one else would paint him and appointed Velazquez as one of his court painters" (biography.com) where he would remain "attached to...for the rest of his life" (metmueum.org).

~During his time in the court,Velazquez's "art was profoundly influenced by Venetian paintings in the royal collection and by Peter Paul Rubens," the most influential Flemish painter of the 17th century (metmuseum.org).~"From June 1629 to January 1631, Velazquez traveled in Italy" where "the influence of contemporary Italian artists may be seen in his mastery of perspective" (metmuseum.org). Following his return from Italy, Velazquez began a series of portraits that featured members of the royal family on horseback" and "devoted time to painting the dwarves who served in the King Philip's courts" (biography.com).~On his "second trip to Italy from 1649 to 1651...[Velazquez]...was given the opportunity to paint Pope Innocent X" (biography.com)and also producing masterpieces such as "The Rockeby Venus" and "the portrait of his assistant, Juan de Pareja" (metmuseum.org).

~"In his final decade, Velazquez's handling of paint became increasingly free and luminous" (metmuseum.org). ~"In 1656, he produced perhaps his most acclaimed work, Las Meninas...a snapshot-like painting...[in which]...two handmaidens dote on future empress Margarita Theresa while Velazquez peers from behind a large easel, ostensibly studying the king and queen, though his gaze meets the viewer's" (biography.com).

~"In 1658, Velazquez was made a knight of Santiago" (biography.com).

~"After being tasked with decoration responsibilities for the wedding of Maria Teresa and Louis XIV, Velazquez became ill...[and]...died in Madrid on August 6, 1660" (biography.com).

~The Baroque-style architecture of Velazquez's era resembles his masterpieces in more ways than one.~The Otwock Grand Palace, constructed in Poland from 1682 to 1689, was designed by an unknown architect whose style was apparently reminicent of that of Tylman van Gameren. (otwock.mnw.art.pl)~As was the case in most Baroque-style pieces, the dramatic contrasts and attention to detail brought life to the palace, just as Velazquez's contrasting color schemes and detail-oriented painting techniques brought life to his masterpieces. (brittanica.com)


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