Las_Meninas by Diego Velazquez The title, which translates to Ladies in Waiting, is a turning point in art history for the way in which Velázquez broke from the stiff formal portraits that typically defined royalty. The large canvas shows Infanta Margaret Theresa, the king's daughter, surrounded by her entourage as Velázquez stands behind an easel painting her portrait.
Las_Meninas by Diego Velazquez The title, which translates to Ladies in Waiting, is a turning point in art history for the way in which Velázquez broke from the stiff formal portraits that typically defined royalty. The large canvas shows Infanta Margaret Theresa, the king's daughter, surrounded by her entourage as Velázquez stands behind an easel painting her portrait. This painting is Velázquezs, and this fact remains, to a certain extent, a fact. In the past, Velázquezs work has been judged a failure, not only because he could not escape the fact that it was a portrait, but also because he could not escape the fact that his work was like the others that followed him, that were made in the style of others. He had to make some other kind of self-reflexive leap, and he did so by adopting a way of presenting his work that the more traditionalists could not understand and would not tolerate. His art was the result of this split: between the style of others and the style of his father.In this show, Velázquez presented a new, slightly modified version of his father's paintings, and he also showed several new works. Velázquezs father was an American painter who lived in France. When Velázquez was ten years old, his father asked him to paint a portrait of himself. He did so, but on the condition that Velázquez would take the title as his own. At that moment, Velázquez saw his work as a rebellion against his father's painting, which was the father's own work, and his own style, which had been dictated by his own history. He was ten years old, and his father had long since abandoned his father's style.Velázquezs father, who died in 1964, is the one who influenced him, especially in the paintings he showed at the Castello di Rivoli. His father was a Spaniard, and he had learned Catalan and Spanish from his father's collection. Velázquez had learned how to draw from his father and he continued to draw from him, showing his father's work in a museum and at a school.
The image evokes a time when the notion of the artist as king's daughter was considered deeply antiquated. At that moment, when Velázquez was only thirty, he had already developed a certain critical edge. His works showed a certain understanding of the historical, social, and esthetic dimensions of the relationship between the sovereign and the ruled. After his own death in 1421, he was labeled an antiquarian. His paintings captured the essence of the monarch's wishes. They depicted the monarch's daughter, who was depicted in front of the Great Palace in Tokyo, ca. 1425.Velázquez's paintings became the basis of a new line of art. He was also the first to realize the potential of his own, individuated and highly personal compositions. He used the painters technique to create a new, non-narrative perspective. He kept the paintings fully intact, allowing the viewer to find the hidden narrative of the portraits. The results of this relationship are what the artist called his Self-Portrait in a Broken Plate. The images are sometimes blurred, but the characters are clearly visible. These portraits, often of the artist himself, reveal themselves as portraits of themselves. And they are not portraits of the artist as a man but as a man. It is Velázquez who has exposed these portraits' sentimental value. He has made them his own, in which the real remains, the images, have been reduced to the status of portraits.
Las_Meninas by Diego Velazquez The title, which translates to Ladies in Waiting, is a turning point in art history for the way in which Velázquez broke from the stiff formal portraits that typically defined royalty. The large canvas shows Infanta Margaret Theresa, the king's daughter, surrounded by her entourage as Velázquez stands behind an easel painting her portrait. The scene is set, according to the legend, in the years before the painter was born.The painting is a self-portrait. The daughter is Velázquezs widow, and she is the only woman in the room. The rest of the group of women are still in the shadows. In fact, one woman is Velázquezs only relative. The whole thing is the result of a fall that happened a long time ago, in 1824. At the time, Velázquez was only twenty-four years old. This was the year of the American Revolution, and the revolutionaries, sensing a strong need to strengthen their ranks, decided to invade Spain. But the king was appalled. The young king didn't understand their intentions, and so he went home and hid his paintings and paintings and paintings and paintings, according to the legend. In desperation, he asked his mother to give him a silver spoon. The mother then asked Velázquezs friend and lover, Salvador Dali, to help her conceal the works. And so the queen of Spain hid them in a small room at the palace of San Romano. What was Velázquezs response? She painted over the paintings. But she also put a silver spoon in a vase, a jewel, and other precious objects. It is this forbidden treasure that Velázquez continues to hide and protects in his paintings. This is a tribute that he pays to his memory.Velázquezs paintings are a personal tribute to the art history of his country. They are not, however, portraits. They are not portraits of real people, but of imaginary people. They are not self-portraits, but of imaginary selves. This is where Velázquezs real image comes into play: He depicts himself as a painter who can never be a real one. Thats why he hides his paintings. Its also why he paints them with such great skill.
Las_Meninas by Diego Velazquez The title, which translates to Ladies in Waiting, is a turning point in art history for the way in which Velázquez broke from the stiff formal portraits that typically defined royalty. The large canvas shows Infanta Margaret Theresa, the king's daughter, surrounded by her entourage as Velázquez stands behind an easel painting her portrait. In this image, she is more of a princess than the mother we knew from the paintings of Murillo, who was considered a close friend of her son. While Velázquez was largely responsible for the development of American painting, he was equally responsible for the development of Spanish art. The emergence of Cubism, Picasso, and Matisse underlined the countrys connections with the international avant-garde. Velázquez was also responsible for popularizing the practice of painting, a concept that would later be dubbed Surrealism.The collaboration between two young artists, as well as a sister, whose work was seen in a retrospective at the Galería Téllez in Madrid, provided an unexpected opportunity to examine the links between the two artists. In a group of sculptures, Velázquez used his own skin to cast bronze figures and objects. This show featured works from the late 1970s, especially sculptures. From a distance, the human skin looks like a drawn or painted surface. Up close, it is still difficult to discern the human figure. The skin is covered with layers of paint, which give the figure a visage of disfigurement. These works have a sharp, graphic quality that emphasizes the violence of the figures' disfigurement. In the series with the same title as the exhibition, the figure is rendered in plaster. The first pair of figures, about six and a half feet tall, are marked with a number of marks that look like wounds. The second pair of figures, about four feet tall, are even more disfigured. Velázquez used the plaster to stain several pairs of her daughters nude buttocks, while the plaster casts are arranged in front of a mirror. The inscription, GEDE PAS UN VERDE, ELLE Où ATROCARE (I love you, you are safe), is engraved on the plaster casts.
After these iconic images, the Spaniards career has been defined by those of other masters, notably Michelangelo Pistoletto, who lived in Spain and who introduced to the world the visual culture of the Spanish countryside the same drawing technique that had been practiced by the young king himself, Enrique Peña. What sets Velázquez apart from other artists, like Peña, who colonized different cultures and then lived there, is that he never stopped painting. This exhibition, entitled La gran cerda (The Garden), presented a view of Velázquezs life and work from the viewpoint of the painter who once lived there and painted in exile.In this exhibition, the presence of a painting was more than an invitation to stroll through the gardens. It was a reminder that painting is a medium, not a playground, and one that one can easily lose oneself in. An extraordinary painting, it included a chair, a sofa, a bridge, and a car. This was Velázquezs Garden, 1998–99, which he recently installed in the garden of the Villa de la Rosario, the former residence of the Duke of Alba. The painting reflects the multiplicity of the young artist's imagination and the uniqueness of his position. Here, the artist's image is projected onto a black and white photograph of the gardens, which he took at the Garden of Olombre de las Arenas in Spain, where he has lived since 1998. Thus, one can imagine Velázquez as an exotic vivant, a work in progress that cannot be fully realized in the exhibition. It is only through the painting's possibility to remain a work in progress that it is realized.