Diego Velazquez

Diego Velazquez - 1

  • Year of birth: 1599
  • Date of death: 6 Aug 1660
  • Country: Spain


The great Spanish painter Diego de Silva and velázquez was born in 1599 in Seville. His work had on the company, which is now in the history of art known as “the Golden age of Spanish painting.”

His mother was a native of Portugal. All in the family had 8 children, the eldest of whom was Diego. As adults, Diego and his brother Juan took the maternal name, as this custom was very popular among artists of the then province of Andalusia.

Little Diego was given training in the workshop of Francisco Herrera at the age of 10 years, as he very early showed his talent. But his studies here was short — the master had a bad character, but the boy did not want to deal with it. Soon his father Diego gives him to study other artist Francisco Pacheco. Training time was six years. Pacheco himself was a very extraordinary man — despite the fact that he held the post of censor and expert on Church paintings in the Holy office, he was a good draughtsman, who adhered to the school of Raphael and Michelangelo.

The school Pacheco future master learned the basics of his craft and met with the same talented as he is, the young people, the future sculptor and artist, Alonso Cano and another Titan of Spanish painting, Francisco de Zurbaran.

Diego quickly became not only a disciple, but a member of the Pacheco family, as he married his daughter. The marriage produced two daughters, one of which, of Ignacio, died a baby.

After passing the exam for the title of master under the patronage of his father, Velasquez became a member of the painters ‘ Guild of Seville.
Early work of Velazquez mainly represented by the works in the style called bodegones, that is, the images of ordinary life and visitors Spanish pubs under the name bodega. These works speak of the great gift of the beautiful young artist, and his paintings are repeatedly copied and replicated as models of high art. Especially well-known painting of this period is “the water boy” which is extremely accurate and impressive picture of the water drops.

During this period, in the paintings of the masters, you notice a strong influence of the paintings of Caravaggio with the characteristic very dark, almost black background and emerging from it, the illuminated parts of the picture.

Career advancement velázquez contributed his relatives and friends, a native of Seville. The first attempt to make his court painter failed, but only a couple of months later, they still became them because of the death of the previous court painter. On the way to a new destination, Velasquez painted a portrait of the chaplain of Luis de Gongora-and-Agora, through which is rapidly becoming popular as a portraitist among the Madrid nobility and the rich.

Smart, young king Philip IV appreciated the artistic talent of Velasquez. He took it to the post, but he was required to work exclusively for high-ranking nobility. Besides a dizzying rise Velasquez forced the other candidates to continually build against it intrigues.

In 1629, velázquez was able to make a trip to Italy, where he became acquainted with many famous works of art. This has significantly affected the quality of his painting. Her style became freer, more natural, got rid of the excessive blackness and contrast.

The Mature period of the artist’s work is characterized by the execution of numerous works for the king and his courtiers, designed to decorate the chambers and palaces of the nobility. The most famous painting is “the Surrender of Breda” – plural, complex composition on historical themes.

In 1648 Velasquez had a chance again to visit Italy. He arrived not only as a famous artist, but also as a covert diplomat, sent to the Pope. He executed a portrait of the Pontiff, shocked Rome and all of Italy for its realism and brilliant image.

Another painting of this period – “Venus with a mirror” – quite unusual for the Velasquez and Spanish painting in particular. It is full of sensuality and bliss, has a pronounced erotic overtones, which is absolutely contrary to some prudish and restrained of the Spanish “Catholic” painting.

In 1651, the artist returned to Spain. During this period of his life was created by the world famous “Las Meninas” and “young girls”.

As a representative of the court, Velasquez was directly involved in organizing the marriage of the daughter of the Spanish king and the king of France Louis XIV.

The artist died on the 62 year of his life, was buried beside his wife in Madrid. The tomb has not been preserved, but the great creations of the master survived centuries.