who is diego velazquez
One of his last works was the Infanta Margarita Teresa in a Blue Dress, which is truly a gem among most artists and art enthusiasts. It was in this painting that he was able to present his unique style in terms of the choice of color. For instance, there were plenty of shimmering colors that were set on wider painting surfaces to give off an impressionistic appeal. Hence, it is essential for viewers to stand at a certain distance to obtain an impression of the artwork’s three-dimensional quality.
Soon, Velazquez moved to the royal court of King Philip IV. This new milestone in his life gave him a better access to impressive collection of artworks that helped inspire his masterpieces. He also knew about Peter Paul Rubens who was a Flemish-born baroque artist during that time. Like other Baroque artists such as Annibale Carracci, Velázquez was tremendously impressed with Renaissance Artists such as Tintoretto, Titian and Raphael. These artists influenced Velázquez most notably in his rendering of color and light.One of the finest pieces by Velazquez during the time he spent at the royal court was The Triumph of Bacchus.
Diego Velázquez was one of the most important Spanish painters of the 17th century, a giant of Western art. He had a keen eye and a prodigious facility with the brush. His works often show strong modeling and sharp contrasts of light, resembling the dramatic lighting technique called tenebrism.
Diego Velázquez first studied under Francisco Herrera the Elder, and then he was apprenticed to Francisco Pacheco for about six years. When Philip IV came to the throne in 1621, Velázquez sought to obtain royal patronage. He finally won it in 1623, becoming the only painter allowed to paint the king.
In 1622, Velázquez moved to Madrid, where, thanks to his father-in-law’s connections, he earned the chance to paint a portrait of the powerful Count-Duke of Olivares. The count-duke then recommended Velázquez’s services to King Philip IV; upon seeing a completed portrait, the young king of Spain decided that no one else would paint him and appointed Velázquez one of his court painters.
Velázquez traveled to Italy from June 1629 to January 1631, where he was influenced by the region’s great artists. After returning to Madrid, he began a series of portraits that featured members of the royal family on horseback. Velázquez also devoted time to painting the dwarves who served in King Philip’s court, taking care to depict them as complex, intelligent beings. Along with his painting duties, Velázquez undertook increasing responsibilities within the court, ranging from wardrobe assistant to superintendent of palace works.
The painting is firm and solid in its figures while the light and dark areas show an evolution from Velazquez’s former works. The composition was devised using many diagonals and complex focal points to involve the viewer. On the left, Bacchus and the satyr behind him are quite naked except for the traditional loose cloths of classical mythology. Bacchus is posed and vividly illuminated; he looks out of the painting as he places a leafy wreath on a man in a golden jacket kneeling before him. An extremely dark mythological figure crouches in the lower left. The right side of the composition is made up of several darkly clothed older men who are drinking and conversing. Two of the men look directly out at the viewer as if to invite them in to the merriment.
Although the subject matter is decidedly more humble than his portraits of kings and their accompanying entourages and historical situations, Velazquez treats the subjects of this painting with the same masterful touches signature to his artistic voice. There is a strong use of chiaroscuro, in which the dark, disappearing background juxtaposed with lighter, high contrast areas and objects tell the story. This is shown to us in high contrast with unsurpassed realism. The ovular construction of the composition is designed in such a way that it opens up to include the viewer using Velazquez’s common strategy of diagonal planes and coextensive spacing. A combination of loose and fine brushwork is utilized to create surface tension and emphasis on various objects and the faces. The background is immersed in darkness, creating a theatrical effect that renders his subjects, even in their mundaneness, as grand central figures as if spot lit upon a stage.
The Surrealist painter DalГ was also inspired to develop his famous moustache after admiring that of Velazquez. He also reinterpreted Velazquez’s painting in his 1960 work Portrait of Juan de Pareja, the Assistant to VelГЎzquez. That same portrait inspired the 1965 novel I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton de TreviГ±o, which in 1966 was awarded The Newberry Medal, a children’s literary prize.
VelГЎzquez is often named a key influence on the art of Г‰douard Manet and the Impressionists. Calling VelГЎzquez the “painter of painters,” Manet admired the bold combination of the free and loose brushstrokes that characterized his style even as he held true to his training in the Baroque academia of his contemporaries. Manet built upon VelГЎzquez’s motifs in his own art.