The Life of Diego Velasquez

Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velázquez or Diego Velázquez is a Spanish painter reputed for his unique and talented skills of integrating color, space, light, and mass in equal value. Born in Seville, Spain on June 06, 1599, Diego Velazquez is noted for his remarkably personal and ingenious style.

Diego learnt art for a year, under the capable guidance of the painter Francisco de Herrera. Velazquez served as an apprentice for five years to Francisco Pacheco, an artist at Seville at the young age of 12. It was in this period that the very youthful painter started painting the most banal of things such as earthenware pots, fruits, and fish in the marketplace. One of his famous quotes goes as, “I would rather be the first painter of common things than second in higher art.”

Velázquez went to learn more about Italian Art. It was during this time that there were some notable changes in his style of painting. During his voyage to Italy, Ambrogio Spinola, the conqueror of the Dutch city of Breda, accompanied Diego. This momentous siege of Breda was depicted in his painting, “La rendición de Breda.” Diego’s paintings mostly included the portraits, and the scenes of historical and cultural importance. The master of Impressionism and Realism, Diego Velázquez inspired many nineteenth century painters of very high repute. Edouard Manet, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Francis Bacon, have all repainted Velazquez’s famous works. Owing to this recreation of his paintings, the artist is often credited as the “Painter’s Painter.”

It is predicted that 20 years later, Velázquez again visited Italy. This can be accepted as a fact because the royal archives specify the different dates of his paintings, even though most of his paintings resemble a common personal style. It was during this time that he bought paintings by Titian, Tintoretto, and Paolo Veronese. He then sent them for the King’s collection. While his stay in Spain, Diego painted the portraits of the King’s other family members also. One of the most notable paintings of Velázquez is, “Las Meninas (1656, English: The Maids of Honor),” which is also known to be his magnum opus. Here the philosophers of art seem divided on who the actual subject of the painting is. Is it Margarita the eldest infant daughter of the King or the painter Velázquez himself?

One of the most influential painters of the European era, Diego Velazquez died on August 16, 1660. Velázquez was a great Realist and it is often quoted that no one could capture genuine features and fixes them as uniquely on the canvas as he did. A noted art philosopher has said, “His men and women seem to breathe.”

Are you interested in seeing Abstract Art Paintings? Or Do you want to see know more about the Life of Edgar Dedas?

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