Triumph of Wakha, Diego Velazquez – overview of the painting

Triumph of Wakha, Diego Velazquez – overview of the painting
Triumph of Wakha, Diego Velazquez - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Diego Velazquez
  • Museum: Prado Museum
  • Year: 1628-1629

Overview of the painting :

Triumph of Wakha – Diego Velazquez. 1628-1629. Oil on canvas. 165 x 225 cm

   This large-scale canvas served as a vivid proof of Velazquez’s skill in creating multi-figure compositions, which, at that time, was often accused of succeeding in only one genre – portrait painting.

   The painting was written before the master left for Italy. It depicts a group of men led by the god of winemaking Wakkh. Naturally, all the characters paid tribute to the products of winemaking, which gave reason to name the picture in the second name – “Drunkards”.

   The canvas has a complex multi-figure composition. All characters are, as it were, inscribed in a large oval, which makes the composition closed. All real “living” people are made with colors that are common in tone, and only the god Wack stands out for snow-white skin and special lighting – it seems that only on him do the sun in this complex group of different people fall. In addition, he alone is not dressed, but draped by rich white and dark pink fabrics, and is also decorated with lush grape wreaths. Two more characters on the left have wreaths on their heads, but they are much more modest than that of a deity. They are not accentuated, depicted as extras on stage.

   Another gentleman kneels in front of Wakkh, leaning low towards him, and God hovers another grape wreath on his head. The three closest characters look enthusiastically at this, and the two standing behind are talking among themselves.

   The picture is designed in the mustard-olive color scheme, in which only the color of the deity itself with a predominance of white and pink shades is clearly distinguished. In general, the triumph of Wakha does not impress a drunken orgy, but a fun friendly meeting.