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DEATHS: 1923 ROSSI — 1660 VELASQUEZ
BIRTHS: 1932 HODGKIN 1928 WARHOL 
^ Died on 11 August 1923: Luigi Rossi, Swiss artist born on 10 March 1853.
— Luganese, Luigi Rossi, il cui padrino di battesimo fu nientemeno che Carlo Cattaneo [15 Jun 1801 – 06 Feb 1869], si trasferirà ancor bambino (a tre anni) a Milano. Ad undici anni è già iscritto a Brera, allievo del Bertini, insieme al Bazzarro e a Tallone, e soprattutto di Carlo Mancini. I suoi sono paesaggi all'aperto (eseguiti insieme ad Eugenio Gignous) e quadretti di genere: Questua infruttuosa (1871), In assenza del padrone (1872). E proprio in questi anni si trasferirà per un periodo con la famiglia nell'Astigiano. Potrà quindi entrare in contatto con la pittura di Leonardo Bistolfi [15 Mar 1859 – 02 Sep 1933] e Marco Calderini [20 Jul 1850 – 26 Feb 1941]. Luigi Rossi nel 1878, ormai di nuovo a Milano, conosce il successo: il suo Ritorno al paese natio non fu premiato col principe Umberto solo perché il pittore conservava la nazionalità svizzera.
     I suoi quadri, fin d'allora, sono legati a momenti di vita rustica e familiare (La culla, La polenta, eseguiti in Val Verzasca). Periodo chiave fu la tappa parigina (1884-1888), dove illustrerà libri di Daudet (Tartarin sur Les Alpes, 1885; Sapho, 1887), di Loti (Madame Chrysantème, 1887), di Prévost, di Chateaubriand, di Keller e di Rambert. Nel 1888 è di nuovo a Milano, a contatto con il mondo scapigliato della Famiglia artistica e della Patriottica; frequenta infatti gli ambienti pittorici e culturali locali, amico del Grubicy, del Mentessi, del Morbelli, di Giacomo Puccini, di Arrigo e Camillo Boito. Nel 1891 con il giornalista Giorgio Molli compie un viaggio in Sicilia: molti i paesaggi, magari eseguiti poi a memoria nello studio milanese, e le impressioni. Il viaggio in Sicilia fu pure ispirazione per l'illustrazione, insieme all'amico Luigi Conconi [20 May 1852 – 23 Jan 1917], cremoniano, delle pastorali di Longo Sofista Daphnis et Chloé.
     Amico fraterno di Gian Pietro Lucini, poeta e critico simbolista, si fa partecipe di un simbolismo vigoroso e talvolta anche sognante. Nascono così quadri come Temporale in montagna (1892), Rêves de Jeunesse (1894) (si notano qui contatti con la pittura svizzera e con Hodler in particolare), il Mosto (1898), ritenuta la sua opera migliore. Non fu estraneo neppure al liberty (Donna, dei fichi, Genzianella). Fu un pittore sociale, interessato alla realtà contadina, vicino ad Augusto Osimo e Giuseppe Mentessi. Insegnò nelle scuole dell'Umanitaria (1902-1912), collaborò al giornale pacifista Giù le armi. Nel 1911 si iscrisse al sodalizio degli acquarellisti lombardi. Nel 1921, alla Galleria Pesaro di Milano, si tenne un'importante mostra antologica del pittore.

In The Park (46x75cm; 603x1000pix, 164kb)
Contadinella in attesa (1894, 72x46cm; 476x301pix, 53kb)
Dolce cinguettio (83x55cm; 476x299pix, 54kb)
Piccole mamme (24x36cm; 323x454cm, 58kb)
La polenta (38x55cm; 312x454pix, 53kb)
Le ranette (53x 68cm; 339x439pix, 51kb)
Villaggio siciliano (344x260pix, 30kb)
 
^ Born on 06 August 1932: Gordon Howard Eliot Hodgkin, British Abstract painter and printmaker. — {Hogkin is not the incomparably superior Hodges' kin, but is Hodgkin kin to Hodgkin's Lymphoma?} — Kin of Eliot “Junk-as-Art” Hodgkin [1905-1987]?
— He was educated at Bryanston School in Dorset. He then studied at the Camberwell Art School and later at the Bath Academy of Art in Corsham, where Edward Piper studied drawing under him. His first solo show was in London in 1962. His early paintings tend to be made up of hard-edged curved forms in a limited number of colors. About 1970 his style became more spontaneous, with vaguely recognizable shapes presented in bright colors and bold forms. His works might be called "semi-abstract", and are often compared to Henri Matisse. Hodgkin's paintings often seek to convey memories of encounters with friends and frequently carry titles alluding to specific places and events such as Dinner at West Hill (1966) and Goodbye to the Bay of Naples (1982). Hodgkin himself has said that he paints "representational pictures of emotional situations". Despite their apparent spontaneity and usually small scale, many of Hodgkin's paintings take years to complete, with him returning to a work after a wait and then changing it or adding to it. He often paints over the frames of his pictures, emphasizing the idea of the painting as an object. Several of his works are on wooden items, such as bread-boards or the tops of old tables, rather than canvas. A number of his works not shown in frames are surrounded by rectangles of simple color. Hodgkin is combative in interviews and often denies ideas that he has expressed himself.
— The paintings that Hodgkin produces hover midway between the figurative and abstract. He says that he paints "representational pictures of emotional situations". The starting point, detailed in the evocative titles Kerala (1992), When Did We Go to Morocco?, (1993), and Rain at Rutland Gate (1994), root the works in the factual: places, people, times of day and changes in the weather. However, some titles also suggest an emotional state of mind, for example Passion, (1984) and In a Crowded Room, (1986). It is the suggestion, rather than the absolute, which is conveyed by the differing applications of paint used by Hodgkin. A variety of marks cover the surfaces of the works, from the broad sweeps of paint that frame the work to round, repeated dots.

stamp
LINKS
–- Nick's Room (1977 lithograph with hand color, 52x61cm; 171x200pix, 8kb which is more than enough to appreciate; in fact this postage stamp [>>>] is quite enough _ you won't get any more details (except insignificant ones), but, if you want, you can ZOOM to 465x543pix, 22kb _ or even ZOOM+ to 934x1092pix, 186kb _ or extravagantly ZOOM++ to 2012x2184pix, 884kb _ or the ultimate ludicrous overenlarged ZOOM+++ to 3736x4368pix, 1269kb) _ If you go in for insignificant details, as seen through a microscope, here is a link to one of the more interesting (a monster?) (576x720pix, 27kb) and to another, more sleepy (577x720pix, 28kb).
After Corot (1982, 37x38cm)
Small Henry Moore at the Bottom of the Garden (1977, (53x53cm)
Rain in the Palazzo
A Storm (1977, 41x48cm) _ This watercolor was made by Hodgkin after visiting Oklahoma in 1977 where there had been a series of violent storms. His work recreates the feelings or moods awakened in him by the subject. Although not a representation of a storm the colors and shapes all suggest aspects of wild weather, white lightning, blue rain and the red of fire. The heavy mass in the center perhaps suggests the earth. Hodgkin often paints frames to his work but here the energy of his marks and colors appear to have burst from the frame’s confines.
–- Sunset (1985 tapestry, 162x210cm; 1182x1415pix, 140kb)
–- Red Palm (1986, 108x136cm; 1125x1398pix, 116kb)
–- After Dinner at Smith Square (1981, 79x104cm; 1083x1443pix, 123kb)
–- For Bernard Jacobson T20 (1979, 106x150cm; 892x1279pix, 120kb) _ The pseudonymous Howhard Hogking, a maximalist, has metamorphosed this rather simple picture into the pair of richly detailed and colorful abstractions
      _ For Burn Art (2007; 550x778pix, 132kb _ ZOOM 1 to 778x1100pix, 253kb _ ZOOM 2 to 1100x1556pix, 498kb _ ZOOM 3 to 1710x2418pix, 1208kb _ ZOOM 4 to 2658x3760pix, 2537kb) and
      _ Burned Jack-on-the-Cob and Tea For 20 (2007; 550x778pix, 132kb _ ZOOM 1 to 778x1100pix, 253kb _ ZOOM 2 to 1100x1556pix, 498kb _ ZOOM 3 to 1710x2418pix, 1208kb _ ZOOM 4 to 2658x3760pix, 2537kb)
–- Untitled (1187x1480pix, 139kb) {why? not enough flags?} almost identical to the next but rotated 180º.
–- Put Out More Flags (1160x1448pix, 211kb). _ The pseudonymous Art Kinov-Alhogz, who, unlike other pseudo-artists such as Hodgkin, does not hog his copyrights, but shamelessly waves them all, and is able to produce parodies of Hodgkin's pictures almost as worthless as the originals, has placed these two pictures face-to-face and transformed them each in exactly the same way as the other, so that you can appreciate the similarities, irrelevantly and irreverently titling the splendid result
      _ Put Out More Fires aka Put Pot (2006, screen filling, 264kb _ ZOOM to 1864x2636pix, 2251kb). However the enhanced colors made quite visible some undetectable differences of hue between Hodgkin's two pictures, which defeated the purpose of demonstrating their similarities. So Kinev-Alhogz went literally back to the drawing board, and made much simpler changes which resulted in a much less colorful and attractive picture, therefore one down closer to the level of Hodgkin and which made the similarities obvious:
      _ Root Out More Rotten Figs aka Rut Rot (2006, screen filling, 153kb _ ZOOM to 1864x2636pix, 1294kb).
–- Garden (rounded top 1087x1515pix, 137kb)
–- Green Chateau (1167x1435pix, 107kb)
–- Green Chateau (1182x1488pix, 134kb) very slightly different version
woman's head?–- Untitled (847x1575pix, 122kb) somewhat similar to part of the preceding two.
–- Roger and Margaret Coleman (1086x1304pix, 115kb) Without the titles, Hodgkin's portraits could easily be considered abstractions. Or did Margaret Coleman's head really look like this >>>
–- Mr. and Mrs. Michael Chow (1043x1400pix, 87kb)
–- After Dinner at Smith Square (1083x1443pix, 123kb)
–- Moonlight aka Heenk 62 (1050x833pix, 151kb)
–- Moonlight (1999; 1168x1342pix, 58kb)
The Sky's the Limit (2003, 76x91cm; 690x825pix, 197kb)
Interior With Figures (1984, 137x152cm; 662x755pix, 143kb) no perceptible figures, nor much else other than abstraction.
73 small images at Original Prints
—(070803)

^ Died on 06 August 1660:
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez
,
Spain's greatest Baroque era painter, baptized as an infant on 06 June 1599.
He was the father-in-law of Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo, his lifelong studio assistant was Juan de Pareja, his students included Antonio Puga.

—     Velázquez was born in Seville. Both his parents were from the minor nobility. Velázquez's early works, fall into three categories-the bodegón, (everyday subjects combined with still life), portraits, and religious scenes.
      Many of his earliest paintings show a strong naturalist bias, as in The Meal (1617), a bodegón which may have been his first work as an independent master. In his bodegones, such as Water Seller of Seville (1620), the masterly effects of light and shadow, as well as the direct observation of nature, make inevitable a comparison with the work of Caravaggio.
      For his religious paintings, images of simple piety, Velázquez used as models people drawn from the streets of Seville. In Adoration by the Magi (1619), for example, the biblical figures are portraits of members of his own family; a self-portrait is included as well.
      In 1623, after painting a ?W?*>portrait of Philip IV (1623; 1117x862pix; 101kb), he was named official painter to the king. The portrait was the first among many such sober, direct depictions of the king, the royal family, and members of the court. Indeed, throughout the later 1620s, Velázquez dedicated most of his efforts to portraiture. Mythological subjects would at times occupy his attention, as in Bacchus or The Drinkers (1629).
      In August 1629 Velázquez left Barcelona for Genoa and spent most of the next two years traveling in Italy. From Genoa he proceeded to Milan, Venice, Florence, and Rome, returning to Spain from Naples in January 1631. In the course of his journey he closely studied both the art of the Renaissance and contemporaneous painting. On his return to Madrid, Velázquez resumed his duties as court portraitist with the sensitive painting Prince Baltasar Carlos with a Dwarf (1631), an image made poignant by the young prince's death before reaching adulthood.
      In 1634 Velázquez organized the decoration of the throne room; this scheme consisted of 12 scenes of battles in which Spanish troops had been victorious. Velázquez's contribution to the cycle of battle pictures included .The Surrender of Breda (1634), portraying a magnanimous Spanish general receiving the leader of defeated Flemish troops. The delicacy of handling and astonishing range of emotions captured in a single painting make this the most celebrated historical composition of Spanish Baroque art.
      The second major series of paintings of the 1630s by Velázquez was a group of hunting portraits of the royal family for the Torre de la Parada, a hunting lodge near Madrid. Dating from the late 1630s and early 1640s are the famous depictions of court dwarfs in which, unlike court-jester portraits by earlier artists, the sitters are treated with respect and sympathy.
      During the last 20 years of his life Velázquez's work as court official and architect assumed prime importance. In 1649 he again went to Italy, this time to buy works of art for the king's collection. During his year's stay in Rome (1649-1650) he painted the magnificent portraits of Juan de Pareja and of Pope Innocent X. The elegant Venus at Her Toilette probably dates from this time also.
      The key works of the last two decades of Velázquez's life are Fable of Arachne (1646; 863x1119pix, 146kb), an image of sophisticated mythological symbolism, and his masterwork, .Las Meninas (1656), a stunning group portrait of the royal family and Velázquez himself in the act of painting. Velázquez continued to serve Philip IV as painter, courtier, and faithful friend until the artist's death in Madrid. His work had a subtle impact a century later on his greatest successor, Francisco de Goya.

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez is considered to have been the Spain's greatest baroque artist. With Francisco de Goya and El Greco, he forms the great triumvirate of Spanish painting.
      Velázquez was born in Seville, the oldest of six children; both his parents were from the minor nobility. Between 1611 and 1617 the young Velázquez worked as an apprentice to Francisco Pacheco, a Sevillian Mannerist painter who was also the author of an important treatise, El arte de la pintura (1649), and who became Velázquez's father-in-law. During his student years Velázquez absorbed the most popular contemporaneous styles of painting, derived, in part, from both Flemish and Italian realism.
Youthful Works
      Many of his earliest paintings show a strong naturalist bias, as does The Breakfast (1620, version 1 _ version 2), which may have been his first work as an independent master after passing the examination of the Guild of Saint Luke. This painting belongs to the first of three categories—the bodegón, or kitchen piece, along with portraits and religious scenes—into which his youthful works, made between about 1617 and 1623, may be placed. In his kitchen pieces, a few figures are combined with studied still-life objects, as in Water Seller of Seville (1620). The masterly effects of light and shadow, as well as the direct observation of nature, make inevitable a comparison with the work of the Italian painter Caravaggio. Velázquez's religious paintings, images of simple piety, portray models drawn from the streets of Seville, as Pacheco states in his biography of Velázquez. In Adoration by the Magi (1619), for example, the artist painted his own family in the guise of biblical figures, including a self-portrait as well.
      Velázquez was also well acquainted with members of the intellectual circles of Seville. Pacheco was the director of an informal humanist academy; at its meetings the young artist was introduced to such people as the great poet Luis de Góngora y Argote, whose portrait he painted in 1622. Such contact was important for Velázquez's later work on mythological and classical subjects.
Appointment as Court Painter
      In 1622 Velázquez made his first trip to Madrid, ostensibly to see the royal painting collections, but more likely in an unsuccessful search for a position as court painter. In 1623, however, he returned to the capital and, after painting a portrait (1623) of the king, was named official painter to Philip IV. The portrait was the first among many such sober, direct renditions of the king, the royal family, and members of the court. Indeed, throughout the later 1620s, most of his efforts were dedicated to portraiture. Mythological subjects would at times occupy his attention, as in Bacchus (1629). This scene of revelry in an open field, picturing the god of wine drinking with ruffian types, testifies to the artist's continued interest in realism.
Trip to Italy
      In 1628 Peter Paul Rubens came to the court at Madrid on a diplomatic mission. Among the few painters with whom he associated was Velázquez. Although the great Flemish master did not have a direct impact on the style of the younger painter, their conversations almost certainly inspired Velázquez to visit the art collections in Italy that were so much admired by Rubens. In August 1629 Velázquez departed from Barcelona for Genoa and spent most of the next two years traveling in Italy. From Genoa he proceeded to Milan, Venice, Florence, and Rome, returning to Spain from Naples in January 1631. In the course of his journey he closely studied both the art of the Renaissance and contemporaneous painting. Several of the works made during his travels attest to his absorption of these styles; a notable example is Joseph and His Brothers (1630), which combines a Michelangelesque sculptural quality with the chiaroscuro of such Italian masters as Guercino and Giovanni Lanfranco.
Return to Spain
      On his return to Madrid, Velázquez resumed his duties as court portraitist with the sensitive rendition Prince Baltasar Carlos (1635), an image made poignant by the young prince's death before reaching adulthood. From the 1630s on, relatively few facts are known about the artist's personal life, although his rise to prominence in court circles is well documented. In 1634 Velázquez organized the decoration of the throne room in the new royal palace of Buen Retiro; this scheme consisted of 12 scenes of battles in which Spanish troops had been victorious—painted by the most prestigious artists of the day, including Velázquez himself—and royal equestrian portraits. Velázquez's contribution to the cycle of battle pictures included the Surrender of Breda (1634), portraying a magnanimous Spanish general receiving the leader of defeated Flemish troops after the siege of that northern town in 1624. The delicacy of handling and astonishing range of emotions captured in a single painting make this the most celebrated historical composition of the Spanish baroque.
      The second major series of paintings of the 1630s by Velázquez was a group of hunting portraits of the royal family for the Torre de la Parada, a hunting lodge near Madrid. Dating from the late 1630s and early '40s are the famous depictions of court dwarfs in which, unlike court-jester portraits by earlier artists, the sitters are treated with respect and sympathy. Velázquez painted few religious pictures after entering the king's employ; Saints Anthony and Paul (1638) and Immaculate Conception (1644) are notable exceptions.
Late Works
      During the last 20 years of his life Velázquez's work as court official and architect assumed prime importance. He was responsible for the decoration of many new rooms in the royal palaces. In 1649 he again went to Italy, this time to buy works of art for the king's collection. During his year's stay in Rome (1649-50) he painted the magnificent portraits Juan de Pareja and Pope Innocent X . At this time he was also admitted into Rome's Academy of Saint Luke. The elegant Venus at Her Mirror probably dates from this time also.
      The key works of the painter's last two decades are Fable of Arachne (1648), an image of sophisticated mythological symbolism, and his masterwork, Las Meninas (1656), a stunning group portrait of the royal family and Velázquez himself in the act of painting. Velázquez continued to serve Philip IV as painter, courtier, and faithful friend until the artist's death in Madrid. His work had a subtle impact a century later on his greatest successor, Francisco de Goya.

—      Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was born in Seville, the first child of Juan Rodríguez de Silva and Jerónima Velázquez, members of the lesser nobility. Almost nothing is known about Diego’s siblings – five brothers and a sister. Velázquez seems to have started his apprenticeship with Francisco de Herrera the Elder (c.1590-1654), but a short while later (in 1611) his father put him with Francisco Pacheco (1564-1644), who was an artist of modest talent, but a tolerant teacher and a man of society. Francisco Pacheco had good contacts with the royal court and besides, intellectuals of the city, poets, scholars, and artists, liked to meet at his workshop to have discussion on the subjects of classical antiquity, Raphael, Michelangelo and above all Titian, as well as the theory of art. At this time, Velázquez became familiar with the school of Caravaggio.
      In 1617, Velázquez was accepted into the painters’ guild of St. Luke in Seville. Membership in this guild was necessary before he could start his own workshop, employ assistants, and receive commissions from churches and public institutions. The same year Velázquez married Juana, daughter of his teacher Pacheco. Within less than three years they had two daughters, of whom only one, Francisca, survived. The paintings made by Velázquez in Seville before 1622 include bodegones (very popular genre of kitchen or tavern scenes, in which food and drink plays the main part) and his first portraits and religious compositions: Old Woman Frying Eggs, Three Men at Table, The Waterseller in Seville, Mother Jerónima de la Fuente, The Adoration by the Magi. In The Adoration by the Magi the main characters are thought to be portraits: the young king is a self-portrait of the artist, the kneeling king behind him – Pacheco, and The Virgin Mary – Pacheco’s daughter and Velázquez’ wife, Juana.
      In 1622, Velázquez visited Madrid for the first time to see its art treasures, and to make useful contacts; then he went to Toledo to see works by El Greco and other painters of that city, including Pedro de Orrente (1580-1645) and Juan Sánchez Cotán (1561-1627). In the spring of 1623, Velázquez was summoned to court by the powerful Prime Minister, Count-Duke of Olivares, and received his first commission for a portrait of Philip IV. The success of this picture brought the artist an appointment as court painter and the privilege of becoming the only artist permitted to paint the king in the future. In 1628, Peter Paul Rubens came to the court in Madrid on diplomatic business. Velázquez often visited him at work. Actually he was the only Spanish painter to be honored with these personal conversations. It was Rubens who persuaded Velázquez to go to Italy.
     During his first journey to Italy in 1629-30, Velázquez visited Genoa, Venice (where he saw the work of Titian, who influenced him more strongly than any other artist), Florence, and Rome, where he stayed for almost a year. He copied old masters, but also painted large compositions of his own including The Forge of Vulcan and Joseph’s Bloody Coat Brought to Jacob.
     In 1834-35, Velázquez was working on the decoration of the new palace of Buen Retiro. One of his major works intended for this setting, together with several equestrian portraits, is The Surrender of Breda, part of a cycle of twelve battle pictures by different painters. The besieged fortress town of Breda in North Brabant surrendered to the Spanish general Spinola after a staunch resistance of 12 months. The victorious general had granted honorable terms to the captured garrison. The ceremony of the delivery of the keys is the subject of Velázquez’s painting. The work was soon popularly renamed The Lances, because of the verticals which seemed to express the peaceful halt of the army at the moment of surrender. It has been considered the best historical work in West European painting.
      In 1636, the king appointed his court painter “Assistant to the wardrobe” (without salary); in 1643 the king promoted Velázquez to the post of Chamberlain of his private chambers (although still without a regular salary), later he was made assistant to the superintendent of special building projects. In the next few years Velázquez’ art approached its peak in such pictures as Venus at her Mirror and The Fable of Arachne.
     During his second visit to Rome (1649-1651) Velázquez, among other pictures, painted the famous portrait of Pope Innocent X, which the pope himself declared to be ‘too truthful’. On his return to Madrid he was appointed Supreme court marshal, his obligations not connected with painting increased, but he was able now to enlarge his workshop, employing many assistants and students (none of whom, however, were of very great artistic merit).
      Velázquez’s career ended with his most significant work Las Meninas. The painting is a multiple portrait of the royal family and court. The principal figure with all the power of her mischievous charm, is the little Infanta Margarita Maria of Austria (1649/51-1673, daughter of King Philip IV and Maria Anna of Austria), who has burst into Velázquez’s studio, followed by her ladies, dwarfs and dogs, in a flurry of skirts, cloaks and ribbons, while he was intent on painting the king and queen, whose only images are visible, reflected in the mirror hung on the wall in the background, where two large mythological paintings, one by Rubens, the other by Jordaens, are also hung. The great master died in the palace in Madrid.

— Velásquez was Spain's greatest Baroque artist, Velásquez was born in Seville on 06 June 1599; both his parents were from the minor nobility. Velázquez's early works, fall into three categories-the bodegón, (everyday subjects combined with still life), portraits, and religious scenes.
      Many of his earliest paintings show a strong naturalist bias, as in The Meal (1617), a bodegón which may have been his first work as an independent master. In his bodegones, such as Water Seller of Seville (1620), the masterly effects of light and shadow, as well as the direct observation of nature, make inevitable a comparison with the work of Caravaggio.
      For his religious paintings, images of simple piety, Velázquez used as models people drawn from the streets of Seville. In Adoration of the Magi (1619), for example, the biblical figures are portraits of members of his own family; a self-portrait is included as well.
      In 1623, after painting a portrait of Philip IV (1623) of the king, he was named official painter to the king. The portrait was the first among many such sober, direct depictions of the king, the royal family, and members of the court. Indeed, throughout the later 1620s, Velázquez dedicated most of his efforts to portraiture. Mythological subjects would at times occupy his attention, as in Bacchus or The Drinkers (1629).
      In August 1629 Velázquez left Barcelona for Genoa and spent most of the next two years traveling in Italy. From Genoa he proceeded to Milan, Venice, Florence, and Rome, returning to Spain from Naples in January 1631. In the course of his journey he closely studied both the art of the Renaissance and contemporaneous painting. On his return to Madrid, Velázquez resumed his duties as court portraitist with the sensitive painting Prince Baltasar Carlos with a Dwarf (1631), an image made poignant by the young prince's death before reaching adulthood.
      In 1634 Velázquez organized the decoration of the throne room; this scheme consisted of 12 scenes of battles in which Spanish troops had been victorious. Velázquez's contribution to the cycle of battle pictures included The Surrender of Breda (1634), portraying a magnanimous Spanish general receiving the leader of defeated Flemish troops. The delicacy of handling and astonishing range of emotions captured in a single painting make this the most celebrated historical composition of Spanish Baroque art.
      The second major series of paintings of the 1630s by Velázquez was a group of hunting portraits of the royal family for the Torre de la Parada, a hunting lodge near Madrid. Dating from the late 1630s and early 1640s are the famous depictions of court dwarfs in which, unlike court-jester portraits by earlier artists, the sitters are treated with respect and sympathy.
      During the last 20 years of his life Velázquez's work as court official and architect assumed prime importance. In 1649 he again went to Italy, this time to buy works of art for the king's collection. During his year's stay in Rome (1649-1650) he painted the magnificent portraits of Juan de Pareja and of Pope Innocent X . The elegant Venus at Her Toilette probably dates from this time also.
      The key works of the last two decades of Velázquez's life are Fable of Arachne (1646), an image of sophisticated mythological symbolism, and his masterwork, Las Meninas (1656), a stunning group portrait of the royal family and Velázquez himself in the act of painting. Velázquez continued to serve Philip IV as painter, courtier, and faithful friend until the artist's death in Madrid. His work had a subtle impact a century later on his greatest successor, Francisco de Goya.

LINKS
–- Self~Portrait
Self-portrait (1640, 45x38cm) _ It is probably a fragment of a larger composition, as indicated by other existing and larger versions.
Self Portrait (1643)
–- Christ in the House of Martha and Mary
–- Las Meninas (1657, 318x276cm; 1336x1136pix, 104kb _ .ZOOM 1 to 2405x2045pix, 295kb _ .ZOOM 2 to 3584x3091pix, 1156kb) _ This is a composition of enormous representational impact. The Infanta Margarita stands proudly amongst her maids of honor, with a dwarf to the right. Although she is the smallest, she is clearly the central figure; one of her maids is kneeling before her, and the other leaning towards her, so that the standing Infanta, with her broad hooped skirt, becomes the fulcrum of the movement. The dwarf, about the same size as the Infanta, is so ugly that Margarita appears delicate, fragile and precious in comparison. On the left in the painting, dark and calm, the painter himself can be seen standing at his vast canvas. Above the head of the Infanta, we see the ruling couple reflected in the mirror. The spatial structure and positioning of the figures is such that the group of meninas around the Infanta appears to be standing on "our" side, opposite Philip and his wife. Not only is the "performance" for their benefit, but the attention of the painter is also concentrated on them, for he appears to be working on their portrait. Although they can only be seen in the mirror reflection, the king and queen are the actual focus of the painting towards which everything else is directed. As spectators, we realize that we are excluded from the scene, for in our place stands the ruling couple. What seems at first glance to be an "open" painting proves to be completely hermetic — an impression further intensified by the fact that the painting in front of Velázquez is completely hidden from our view. [comentario extenso]
–- The Surrender of Breda (“The Lances”) (1634, 307x367cm; 851x1023pix, 182kb — ZOOM to 1700x2046kb, 319kb) _ detail 1 _ detail 2 _ detail 3 _ The event took place on 02 June 1625, when the Dutch governor, Justin de Nassau, delivered the keys of the city, symbolically, to Ambrosio de Spinola, the Spanish commander, in fact three days after the city was taken. In 1639, shortly after the canvas was painted, Spain lost the city forever; it was reconquered by Frederick Henry of Orange. _ It was in 1625, ten years before this picture was painted, that Justin van Nassau, the commanding officer of Breda, surrendered the city to the Genovese Ambrosio Spinola, commander of the Spanish forces. Breda was one of the border fortresses of the Netherlands, a military base which had long been a bone of contention, alternately seized by the Spaniards or returned to the Princes of Orange. After a long siege Spinola learned from an intercepted letter that the defendants were in desperate straits, short of both equipment and food, and he therefore proposed that van Nassau should freely surrender rather than continue the bloodshed. The proposal was accepted and the army withdrew in good order, keeping their goods and some of their arms. The citizens did not suffer any harm at all. This victory was one of the last triumphs achieved by Spain in the period when she was accounted a great world power, and it was also one of the fine instances when humanism prevailed even in times of war. The main problem of a history painting featuring a large number of figures is the question of how to handle the crowd scenes.
      Velázquez initially tackles this difficulty by dividing the picture plane into two levels - a higher area of action on which the main event is acted out as on a stage, and an area below it in which we see the city and harbor of Breda and the sea. The stage-like situation is further emphasized by various foreground elements. The two military leaders - the defeated commandant of Breda handing over the keys of the fortress to the Spanish commander Spinola - are immediately recognizable as the protagonists because the view opens up behind them towards the otherwise hidden background, whereas to the right and left the respective military entourage is grouped like stage extras. Yet Velázquez does not portray them as anonymous soldiers. Amongst the group of Spanish victors brandishing their lances, we can make out just as many individual expressions of exhaustion as we can amongst the resigned group of defeated Dutch soldiers. It is thought that the composition of the picture derives from a contemporary book-illustration of the Bible; this is certainly true of the two central figures of the commanders. In its coloring - the brown masses of the horses, the blue and red garments of the soldiers - we see the influence of Venetian painting, particularly that of Tintoretto.
^
Doña Mariana of Austria, Queen of Spain (70x56cm) _ Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria [23 Dec 1634 – 16 May 1696] married her uncle Felipe IV on 07 October 1649.
Mars, God of War (1640, 179x95cm; 936x458pix, 81kb)
The Infanta Doña Margarita de Austria (1660, 212x147cm) _ Velázquez began this painting in the year of his death, it finished and partly transformed by his son-in-law, Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo.
Portrait of the Infanta Margarita (1660, 121x107cm) _ Margarita was the daughter of Philip IV. Six years after the death of Velázquez, when she was still only fifteen, she became the wife of Leopold I, Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary. In the last years of his life Velázquez painted the little girl several times; she is the central figure in one of the last great compositions, Las Meninas, produced in 1656. In the Spanish court, which at that time was almost paralyzed by the rigid rules of etiquette, this little girl represented the spirit of life itself, a girl whose charm was acknowledged by everyone; even the French ambassador, a man who was very hard to please, praised her in a letter to Louis XIV. She was charming in spite of the fact that she had inherited her father's heavy Habsburg features. As was the way with monarchs of medieval times, Philip IV made use of Velázquez and his workshop as a king might today make use of a court photographer. He ordered several variants of the picture, in each one of which the dresses were to be differently colored. In this painting, which was made by the workshop, a strange contrast is realized: the little girl's fair tresses and delicate fingers express the carefree existence of a child but the lips already show some of the Habsburg characteristics, the eyes are precocious and sad and the body is stiff, imprisoned by the rigid armor of the stays. On the other hand, the grand dress of green silk and velvet, so unsuitable for a child of nine or ten, has a strange animation of its own, as if to offer the child, in recompense for her loss of freedom, gold threads and grandeur.
Infante Philip Prosper (1660, 129x100cm) _ detail (dog) _ One of the last paintings of the artist. It represents the child at the age of two. This is his only portrait, he died two years later.
–- Christ on the Cross (1700x1112pix, 121kb)
The Immaculate Conception (1618, 135x102cm)
Philip IV in Army Dress _ Philip IV in Army Dress (The portrait of Fraga) (1644, 133x95cm) _ The second title comes from the fact that the painting was made in three days (June 1644) in the Aragonese town of Fraga during the campaign against the French. _ Philip IV (Habsburg) [08 Apr 1605 – 17 Sep 1665] King of Spain from 1621, son and successor of Philip III. A discerning patron of the arts (particularly of Velázquez), he had no interest in politics and left the administration of government to his favorite minister, Caspar de Guzmán, count-duke of Olivares [16 Jan 1587 – 22 Jul 1645]. His reign continued the rapid decline of Spain as dominant European power. In 1640, Portugal regained its independence after a revolt; in 1648, Holland was lost in the Treaty of Westphalia; and the 07 November 1659 Treaty of the Pyrenees cost Spain her frontier fortresses in Flanders. Philip IV was married twice. His first wife, Elizabeth (Isabel) of Bourbon, princess of France [1602 -1644], daughter of King Henri IV of France and Marie de Médici; she married Philip IV in 1615 before he came to the throne. Her bethrotal was depicted by Rubens in The Exchange of Princesses. Their first child, daughter Maria Theresa [1638-1683], was the first wife of Louis XIV of France. His second wife was his own niece, Mariana of Austria, daughter of Philip IV’s sister, Maria Anna and Ferdinand III. Philip IV was succeeded by his four-year-old son, Charles II, the last of the Habsburgs.
Philip IV in Brown and Silver (1653, 231x131cm) _ Spain's greatest painter was also one of the supreme artists of all time. A master of technique, highly individual in style, Diego Velázquez may have had a greater influence on European art than any other painter. Velázquez lived in Madrid as court painter. His paintings include landscapes, mythological and religious subjects, and scenes from common life, called genre pictures. Most of them, however, are portraits of court notables that rank with the portraits painted by Titian and Anthony Van Dyck. Duties of Velázquez royal offices also occupied his time. He was eventually made marshal of the royal household, and as such he was responsible for the royal quarters and for planning ceremonies. Velázquez was called the "noblest and most commanding man among the artists of his country." He was a master realist, and no painter has surpassed him in the ability to seize essential features and fix them on canvas with a few broad, sure strokes. "His men and women seem to breathe," it has been said; "his horses are full of action and his dogs of life." As court painter to Philip IV, Velázquez spent a large part of his life recording, in his cool, detached way, the objective appearance of this rigidly conventional royal household, with little interpretation but with the keenest eye for selecting what was important for pictorial expression and with a control of paint to secure exactly the desired effect. In painting these royal portraits, whatever interpretation he made or whatever emotional reaction he experienced he kept to himself. Royalty, courtliness of the most rigid character was his task to portray, not individual personality.
Philip IV (1660, 69 x56cm) _ This is one of the late portraits of Philip IV by Velázquez.
Equestrian Portrait of Philip IV (1636, 301x314cm) _ The painting is one of a series of equestrian portraits of Philip IV and Queen Isabel of France made with the contribution of the workshop. The Baroque dynamism of the composition shows the influence of Rubens.
King Philip IV as a Huntsman (1635, 191x126cm)
Cardinale Infante Ferdinand of Austria as Hunter (1636, 191x107cm) _ Ferdinand of Austria was the brother of Philip IV.
Prince Baltasar Carlos as Hunter (1636, 191x103cm) _ The realistic portrait was made in the first years of the mature period of the artist. Prince Baltasar Carlos, Prince of Asturias (1629 – 1646) son of Philip IV and Elizabeth (Isabel)
Prince Baltasar Carlos on Horseback (1636, 209x173cm) _ Together with four more equestrian portraits by Velázquez, a cycle of 13 battle scenes by Cajés, Velázquez, Maino, Zurbarán, Carducho, Castello, Jusepe Leonardo, and Pereda, and a series of the Labors of Hercules by Zurbarán, this picture was an element of the colossal decorative scheme of the Hall of the Realms in the Buen Retiro Palace. The scheme was organized by the Count-Duke of Olivares, with the aim of affirming the glory of the Spanish Monarchy during what was in fact a period of decline. The portrait, though highly conventional, is painted by Velázquez with his usual conviction, and with brilliantly suggestive strokes of impasto. In the field of royal portraiture, the portrait of the infant or child ruler poses a particular problem to the artist. A majestic pose, sumptuous clothing and the traditional outward trappings of dignity inevitably clash with the very nature of childhood. Velázquez solves this problem by placing the child on a sturdy horse so that the little figure is raised, as on a monumental plinth, to the "correct" position in the picture. This view is further vindicated by a sweeping landscape whose unspoiled nature creates an uncontrived link with the serious, yet still softly contoured and unspoiled mien of the child's face.
Breakfast (1617, 183x116cm) _ Another version of this painting is Peasant at the Table.
Peasants at the Table (El Almuerzo) (1620, 96x112cm) _ At an age when artists of today are only just beginning their studies at college, Velázquez was already painting his genre scenes: there are several studies of musicians and peasants eating. Later, around 1625, he began to paint scenes from the Gospels in which he found it possible to introduce everyday objects; for instance, in his picture of Christ in the house of Martha; he filled the foreground with a still-life of fish and eggs, relegating the figure of Christ to the background. In his Breakfast the human figures are scarcely more important than the still-life. It is of course true that the three figures reveal a thorough knowledge of anatomy, while the details are well chosen to indicate character and personal relationships. Superb craftsmanship is shown in the painting of the full, parted lips of the younger man, the eyes of the old man listening to the story and his slight movement towards the glass and the expression on the face of the woman pouring out the wine, concentrating lest a single drop be spilled. Nevertheless it is possible to argue that the most striking part of the composition is the still-life arranged on the white tablecloth. As a description of the bread, fish, lemon, carrot and copper jar seen here there could scarcely be a more inappropriate phrase than nature morte (dead nature), the term used for a still-life in so many languages. Still though these objects are, they have a genuine pictorial quality, a vigor which is akin to life itself. The Peasants at Table is one of Velázquez's finest early pieces of the type known in Spain as a "bodegón", a combination of conversation piece and still-life. There is another version of Peasant at Table in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.
The Adoration by the Magi (1619, 203x125cm) _ Velázquez was a student in Pacheco's workshop when he embarked upon this his first large work. In his early works Velázquez was still strongly influenced by his master; these pictures also reveal a marked striving for plasticity in the figures and balance between the different elements of the composition. He painted The Adoration of the Magi in heavy, dark colors and his lack of experience is evident in the representation of the faces. And yet, the painting is more than a mere exercise by an industrious and talented student. It is true that he has not conveyed the quality of the textiles in his arrangement of the folds of the garments; the composition is somewhat uncertain and the spatial relations are by no means perfect: yet the picture reveals Velázquez's genius as a portraitist. The Madonna is depicted as a beautiful Andalusian peasant girl, her face glowing with maternal pride, the Infant is well observed, charming with no hint of idealization, and the features of Baltasar are exceptionally lifelike and worthy of note.
Christ in the House of Mary and Martha (1620, 60x104cm) _ In this early work, Velázquez refers to the gospel according to Saint Luke, which tells of a visit by Christ to the house of Martha and Mary. While Mary sat at his feet to listen to his words, Martha busied her~elf with work in the kitchen; eventually, she came to him and said: "Lord, dost thou not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me." To which Christ replied, "Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things; but one thing is needful: and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." (St. Luke 10:40-42). The composition of the painting, with a kitchen scene in the tradition of the "bodegones" taking up the foreground, while the scene involving Christ is presented as a view or a mirror image, is clearly influenced by the art of the Netherlands. Even the plump, ruddycheeked figure of Martha and the still-life arrangement of fish, garlic, eggs and paprika, recall examples of Northern European art. Moreover, this picture is charged with a strange sense of tension and restlessness. The events reflected in the mirror, bathed in a mild light and exuding an atmosphere peace and calm, are contrasted with the foreground image of loud and busy work. Through highlighting and formal diversity, the artist sets a scene that is clearly dissatisfactory to Martha. She is not concentrating on her work, but gazes full of yearning, on the verge of tears, and slightly angrily, as though she already realized that Mary had chosen the better part.
Abbess Jerónima de la Fuente (1620, 160x110cm) _ According to the long inscription on the lower part, Mother Jerónima de la Fuente, Franciscan nun, is depicted on the eve of her departure to the Philippines, where she founded the convent of Santa Clara in Manila. The realistic style of the painting reflects the influence of Francisco Herrera the Elder and Francisco Pacheco.
The Supper at Emmaus (1620, 123x133cm) _ This painting is from the early Caravaggesque period of Velázquez.
Philip IV (1627, 210x102cm) _ One of the first portraits of the King painted by Velázquez, when he became official portraitist to the royal family in 1623.
Doña Maria de Austria, Queen of Hungary (1630, 58x44cm) _ Maria Anne of Austria was the sister of Philip IV. The painting was made in 1630 in Naples on the occasion of the marriage of Maria Anne and Ferdinand III. — Maria Anna (Habsburg) of Austria/Hungary, Infanta of Spain (1606 - 1646), daughter of Philip III and Queen Margaret; sister of Philip IV, she married the King of Hungary, later Emperor Ferdinand III. Their daughter, Mariana (1634- 1696) married her uncle, King Philip IV of Spain, in 1649, and became the queen of Spain; she strongly resembled her cousin Maria Theresa.
The Drinkers (The Rule of Bacchus) (1628, 165x225cm) _ Velázquez painted this picture of Bacchus surrounded by eight drinkers for Philip IV who hung it in his summer bedroom. The painting is not only unique in his oeuvre, but is very rare indeed in Spanish painting as a whole, which does not generally have the drinking scenes so familiar in Flemish and Netherlandish painting. Drunkenness was regarded in Spain as a contemptible vice and "borracho" was the most scathing of insults. At the royal court, it seems to have been considered highly entertaining to invite low-lifers from the comedy theaters and inebriate them for the amusement of the ladies. But what kind of a Wine God is this we see, crowning his followers with ivy, said to cool the heat of wine, and consorting with peasants who grin out of the painting and clearly find the spectator, that is to say the king, a very funny sight indeed? The authority of the god whose presence delights them lends them a sense of majesty as well. And in view of the delightful travesty of royal honors in which Bacchus is indulging, they too have turned the tables and are laughing in the faces of those who would laugh at them. Is this Bacchus merely a myth born of wine, an embodiment of those lowly joys which the nobleman snubs? Or is the god a courtier having precisely the kind of fun at which the ladies liked to laugh? As only Caravaggio before him, Velázquez has portrayed Bacchus (or rather Dionysos) as the God of the mask, the theater and disguise.
Joseph's Bloody Coat Brought to Jacob (1630, 223x250cm) _ The court appointment of Velázquez gave him few opportunities for religious painting, and only occasionally did he paint subject pictures, except during his Italian journeys. He was little influenced by other artists, though he profited from the Titians in the Spanish Royal Collection, and the visit of Rubens in 1628, which was his first contact with a great living painter, who was also a court painter. Whether or not it was Rubens who inspired him to visit Italy, it was due to Rubens's influence that he obtained permission to go. He left in August 1629, visited Genoa, Venice, Rome and Naples (where he met Ribera) and returned to Madrid in 1631.
The Forge of Vulcan (1630, 223x290cm) _ This and the preceding painting, both made during the artist's stay in Italy, show his preoccupation with the male nude. The main effect of his Italian journey was to increase his breadth of vision, but without affecting its fundamentally realistic basis.
Sibyl (1632, 62x50cm) _ It is assumed that Velázquez painted his wife Juana Pacheco on this painting.
Christ on the Cross (1632, 248x169cm) _ This Crucifixion of unparalleled serenity and simplicity was completed when the artist returned from his journey to Italy.
The Count-Duke of Olivares on Horseback (1634, 313x239cm) _ Philip IV succeeded his father, Philip III of Spain, in 1621, and, for the first 22 years of his reign, Philip's valido, or chief minister, was the Conde-Duque de Olivares, who took the spread of the Thirty Years' War as an opportunity not only for resuming hostilities against the Dutch at the end of the Twelve Years' Truce of 1609 (1621) but also for an ambitious attempt to restore Spanish hegemony in Europe, in close alliance with the imperial branch of the Habsburg dynasty. — Count-Duke of Olivares, Caspar de Guzmán (1587-1645) Spanish nobleman and politician, Duke of San Lücar. He was born in Rome where his father was an ambassador. He was the favorite of Philip IV of Spain, and his prime minister for 22 years. He wrung money from the country to carry on foreign wars. His attempts to rob people of their privileges provoked insurrections and roused the Portuguese to shake off the Spanish yoke in 1640, and the king was obliged to dismiss and exile him in 1643.
Juan Martínez Montáñez (1635, 109x107cm) _ Montáñez was the greatest Spanish sculptor of the 17th century, known as 'el dios de la madera' (the god of wood) on account of his mastery as a carver. He worked for most of his long and productive career in Seville. Velázquez painted this portrait in Madrid when the sculptor made a portrait head of King Philip IV.
Buffoon Barbarroja (1636, 198x121cm) _ The buffoon Barbarroja (Don Cristóbal de Castañeda y Pernia) is represented in Turkish attire with arms. The ambitious buffoon aspired to military roles and he even acted as toreador in the arena although he was ill-fitted for doing it.
The Dwarf Don Juan Calabazas, called Calabacillas (1639, 106x83cm) _ Dwarfs, fools and jesters were present in large numbers at the Court of Philip IV. They were maintained by the King according to a tradition extending back well into the Middle Ages. The tradition was motivated by charity, but many 'fools' came to be appreciated for their wit, arousing great affection and sometimes achieving great fame. Because they were not taken seriously, they were licensed to parody or flout the etiquette with which courtiers and royalty had to conform, which seems to have been especially appreciated at the rigid Court of Philip IV. Velázquez has used a variety of subtle devices in portraying them: particularly interesting is the way the light flickers uncertainly over Calabacillas' grimace, suggesting his poor vision. Here Velázquez anticipates, or may have influenced, Goya's technique of 160 years later.
The Dwarf Francisco Lezcano, Called "El Niño de Vallecas" (1645, 107x83cm) _ During the 1630s and 1640s Velázquez painted a series of portraits of the count dwarfs, playmates of the royal children, for they interested him as character studies.
Court Dwarf Don Antonio El Inglés (1645, 142x107cm) _ It was customary at the courts of Europe during the seventeenth century for monarchs to keep dwarfs. Velázquez's sympathy for the fools and dwarfs of the Spanish court is obvious: in the pathos and humane understanding demonstrated by the single portraits with which he (and he alone) paid tribute to them.
The Dwarf Sebastian de Morra (1645, 106x81cm) _ Velázquez painted the likenesses of some of the dwarfs of the Spanish court who were, in the words of Carl Justi, 'loved and treated as dogs'. These unfortunate cripples, sometimes weak-minded but sometimes wise, often attached themselves to the courts in the Middle Ages and later; there they found shelter in return for their services as court jesters, and they had to endure the rude remarks and practical jokes of the courtiers. Their feelings as human beings were generally ignored, but the portrait of the dwarf Sebastiano de Morra (it was a form of mockery to give the dwarfs such grandiose names) is one of the most penetrating character studies ever made by the master. Although the dwarf Don Sebastián de Morra is portrayed in full figure, he is not standing in a self-confident pose or elegantly seated on a chair, but is sitting on the bare earth with his feet stretched out in front of him. This low position not only shows up the sumptuous clothing for the clownish apparel it is, but also heightens the intended effect: the court fool is at the mercy of the spectator. Such pictorial devices reveal the voyeurism with which the royal rulers made these people the objects of their shameless whimsy, caprice and power. At the same time, however, the artist is also making another statement: this court fool is giving nothing away, neither a smile, nor any buffoonery. Immobile, scrutinizing and impenetrable, his dark eyes are fixed on the spectator, who somehow feels caught out by such a gaze and turns away. Velázquez's greatest achievement as a portrait painter was certainly his highly pictorial portrait of Pope Innocent X, made during his second visit to Rome; but already in this picture of the dwarf, especially in the expression of the eyes, there is evidence of the great gifts with which this artist was endowed.
Diego de Acedo (El Primo) (1644, 107x82cm) _ It was customary at the courts of Europe during the seventeenth century for monarchs to keep dwarfs. Velázquez's sympathy for the fools and dwarfs of the Spanish court is obvious: in the pathos and humane understanding demonstrated by the single portraits with which he (and he alone) paid tribute to them. A particularly impressive portrait is Velázquez's painting of the dwarf Don Diego de Acedo, alias El Primo (The Cousin), probably commissioned by the court and made at Fraga in about 1644. (The dwarf was called El Primo because he boasted of being the relative of Velázquez.) Like the midget Sebastian de Morra, who served in the retinue of the Infante Don Fernando and Prince Baltasar Carlos, El Primo is shown sitting, and is viewed slightly from below. The effect of presenting them from this dignified aspect is to raise their status in the eyes of the spectator. El Primo is portrayed leafing through the pages of an enormous tome. His small size makes the books surrounding him appear even more gigantic than they are. His occupation here is undoubtedly a reference to his administrative duties at the court. At the same time, it is probably an example of humanist satirical jest, which would often decry the senseless writing and reading of books as a contemptible vice. Contemporary spectators would never have accepted that a dwarf knew how to use the attributes of a scholar; the artist thus seems to be using an apparently grotesque discrepancy to poke fun at the pseudo-scholars of his day.
Aesop (1640, 179x94cm) _ Aesop is a legendary Greek fabulist, who lived in the 6th century BC. According to various legends he was a Phrygian slave, who was granted his freedom, or a confidant of King Croesus of Lydia. The medieval tradition made him an ugly cripple. The Fables attributed to him are most probably a compilation of tales from many sources.
Menippus (1640, 179x94cm) _ The satirical tradition had spread throughout Europe via the humanists, and Velázquez's knowledge of it is evident in his use of ideal types in portraits of the Cynic philosopher Menippus (MOENIPPVS, c. 1636-40) and the Greek composer of fables Aesop (AESOPVS, c. 1636-40), possibly painted for the hunting lodge Torre de la Parada, near the Buen Retiro Palace. It was here, too, that many of his portraits of court fools and dwarfs were hung. Aesop's face with its flattened nose was probably not - as is commonly thought - painted after a man of the people (even if the painting did attempt to show a simple man whose features were marked by toil, and who therefore represented the Cynic ideal of the modesty and wisdom of the people). The portrait seems rather more reminiscent of Giovanni Battista della Porta's physiognomic parallels between various types of human faces and the heads of animals associated with certain temperaments. Aesop had, during Classical antiquity, been seen in conjunction with the Seven Sages; Menippus was known as a castigator of hack philosophers, whom he satirized in different literary genres. According to Plutarch, Aesop was a counselor to the Lydian King Croesus (6th century). Velázquez was suggesting a parallel with the situation at the Spanish court. The two portraits of philosophers, together with the portraits of fools and dwarfs, were intended to warn the king not to lose touch with the common people and their wisdom. — [Why didn't Mané~Katz think of painting Menippus?]
The Coronation of the Virgin (1644, 176x124cm) _ This is one of the several religious paintings Velázquez made in the 1640s.
A Man (1649, 76x64cm) _ Alonso Cano and Velázquez were good friends from their days as students in Seville. Even they worked together restoring the Venetian paintings of the king damaged by fire. It is supposed that the sitter of this painting is Alonso Cano, however, there is no documentary evidence of it.
Pope Innocent X (1649) _ Perhaps the preeminent Spanish artist of the seventeenth century, Velázquez was, from 1623 on, court painter to Philip IV in Madrid. In 1650 Velázquez was sent to Italy to buy paintings for one of his monarch's palaces; while in Rome the artist was commissioned to portray the Pope. The final version (next) was preceded by several small sketches; this canvas by virtue of its great vivacity is sometimes assumed to be a direct study from life. Velázquez was given the unenviable task of depicting the most powerful and, according to contemporaries, the ugliest man in Rome. The artist was successful, for when the Pontiff saw the portrait he is said to have remarked, "troppo vero".
Portrait of Innocent X (1650, 141x119cm) _ "He was tall in stature, thin, choleric, splenetic, with a red face, bald in front with thick eyebrows bent above the nose [...], that revealed his severity and harshness...". These were the words used by Giacinto Gigli in 1655 to describe the pope (Giovanni Battista Pamphili [1574-1655], made a cardinal in 1629 and elected to the papal throne on 16 September 1644), adding that "his face was the most deformed ever born among men." Justi and later Morelli considered his head "the most repugnant... of all the Fisherman's successors" and "insignificant, indeed vulgar," with an expression similar to "that of a cunning lawyer." And yet this ugly and sullen man was paradoxically the subject of one of the most admired portraits of the seventeenth century, and perhaps of all time. Mention has often been made of the chromatic unity of this portrait, in which the red flesh tones, the red cape, the red camauro, and the armchair of red velvet against the backdrop of a red door create such a dramatic effect that, if the pope were to open his mouth, even his saliva would be blood red. This marvelously orchestrated profusion of crimson tints - sometimes, as in the cape, with cold reflections as if "lit by neon" - undoubtedly derives from the example of Titian, while the representation of the contrasting white gown certainly harks back to Veronese, the only sixteenth-century Venetian painter who knew how to handle this difficult "non-color." A man of power, bolt upright, depicted in magenta, an aggressive and vital color, that together with white symbolizes creation. In those years in Rome, the artist painted portraits of other personages connected with the papal court, such as Cardinal Camillo Astalli Pamphili, Monsignor Camillo Massimi, Donna Olimpia Maidalchini Pamphili, Monsignor Abate Ippolito, and Cristoforo Segni. The portrait of Pope Innocent X is by common consent one of the world's supreme masterpieces of portraiture, unsurpassed in its breathtaking handling of paint and so incisive in characterization that the pope himself said the picture was 'troppo vero' (too truthful).
Juan de Pareja (1650, 81x70cm) _ Exceptional powers of observation and an unprecedentedly vibrant technique make Velázquez the greatest Spanish painter of his century. As court painter to King Philip IV of Spain, Velázquez was sent in 1648 to Rome, then the center of the international art world, where he made two of his greatest portraits, one of Pope Innocent X and this one, of his studio assistant Juan de Pareja, a Sevillian of Moorish descent. When the picture was exhibited at the Pantheon in 1650, one connoisseur remarked that while all the rest was art, this alone was truth.
Las Hilanderas (1657, 220x289cm) _ There has been much discussion about the meaning of this painting, but essentially it is clear enough. Just as Velázquez in The Drinkers set ordinary folks beside Bacchus, here he sets Minerva, the goddess of weaving, and Arachne, who rashly challenged her, in the context of actual tapestry-makers. The scene may reflect the disposition of the Royal Tapestry Factory of Saint Elizabeth in Madrid. Minerva is seen arriving in the background, where Arachne is at work, while other spinners in the foreground concentrate on the business in hand. Velázquez conveys their industry with brilliant immediacy, seeming to mingle the hum of their mills with the shifts of color in the light. Nothing could be further from the silent suspension and frozen movement of Las Meninas. But Las Hilanderas shares with Las Meninas and certain early works by Velázquez an ambiguity in the handling of space, with which he deliberately fascinates the viewer.
Venus at her Mirror (The Rokeby Venus) (1651, 122x177cm) _ The Rokeby Venus is widely regarded, along with Titian's Venus of Urbino, as one of the most beautiful and significant portrayals of Venus in the history of western painting. Yet it is virtually impossible to explain the magic of this painting. The consistent reduction of color to lucid red, gentle blue, clear white and a warm reddish-brown allows the skin tone of Venus - blended, incidentally, only from the other colors in the painting - to emerge as an independent hue whose sumptuous sheen dominates everything else. Venus is presented in a sensually erotic pose, and yet she seems chaste and is so completely merged with the overall image that she cannot be touched. Cupid, disarmed, without his bow and arrow, is holding a mirror, his hands bound by fragile pink fetters, condemned to do nothing and completely immersed in contemplation of the beautiful goddess. The mirror image - in defiance of all laws of optics - does not reveal the other side of Venus, but only permits a vague and blurred reflection of her facial traits. This may in fact indicate the underlying meaning of the picture: it is not intended as a specific female nude, nor even as a portrayal of Venus, but as an image of self-absorbed beauty. The goddess of love appears here as a mythical being with neither aim nor purpose, needing no scene of action, but blossoming before our very eyes as an image of beauty itself. During the Inquisition pictures were censored and artists who painted licentious or immoral paintings were excommunicated, fined very heavily and banished. Rather than punish so notable an artist as Velázquez, his Venus was accepted. Cupid and the face to be seen in the looking-glass were, in all probability, heavily painted over in the eighteenth century.
View of Zaragoza (1647, 181x331cm) _ The painting was completed and signed and dated by Juan Bautista del Mazo, the son-in-law of Velázquez
The Pavilion Ariadné in the Médici Gardens in Rome “Sunshine” (1651, 44x38cm) — The Entrance to the Grotta in the Médici Gardens in Rome “Noon” (1650, 48x42cm) _ Velázquez made two views of the Garden of the Villa Médici in Rome, the Entrance to the Grotta and the Ariadné Pavilion (called also as Noon and Sunshine, respectively, referring to the difference in lighting). By these paintings the artist anticipates the spirit of the plein-air painting.
114 images at the Athenaeum
79 images at Bildindex
Velázquez commemorative postal stamps.
 


Died on a 06 August:


^ >1980 Marino Marini, Italian sculptor, painter, draftsman, and printmaker, born on 27 February 1901 in Pistoia. He studied at the Academy of Art in Florence. In Paris 1928-1929, and from 1929 to 1940 taught at the School of Art at the Villa Reale in Monza. In 1940 he became Professor of Sculpture at the Brera in Milan. Lived and worked in Milan and Forte dei Marmi. — He studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, joining in 1917 the classes in engraving and painting given by Galileo Chini and in 1922 those in sculpture under Domenico Trentacoste. He drew small subjects from life, such as flowers, birds and insects, and he also modelled and painted. After military service in 1924, he settled in Florence, where he opened his first studio. He worked intensively, experimenting with different materials, from terracotta to wood and plaster combined with paint, which he also sometimes used with bronze in order to accentuate forms and express movement. Marini made his début as a sculptor in 1928, when he exhibited at La mostra del Novecento toscano at the Galleria Milano in Milan. His sculptures of this period were free of any ornament or descriptive detail: they referred to history and occasionally to the fascinating symbolism of Roman and Etruscan statuary, or the Etruscan-inspired sculpture of Arturo Martini or the traditions of the Tuscan Quattrocento. Marini’s work developed a mysterious mythical quality, for example in People (1929), a small, colored terracotta statue. — Marino Marini was born in the Tuscan town of Pistoia. He attended the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence in 1917. Although he never abandoned painting, Marini devoted himself primarily to sculpture from about 1922. From this time his work was influenced by Etruscan art and the sculpture of Arturo Martini. Marini succeeded Martini as professor at the Scuola d’Arte di Villa Reale in Monza, near Milan, in 1929, a position he retained until 1940. During this period Marini traveled frequently to Paris, where he associated with Massimo Campigli, Giorgio de Chirico, Alberto Magnelli, and Filippo Tibertelli de Pisis. In 1936 he moved to Tenero-Locarno, in the Ticino canton, Switzerland; during the following few years the artist often visited Zurich and Basel, where he became a friend of Alberto Giacometti, Germaine Richier, and Fritz Wotruba. In 1936 he received the Prize of the Quadriennale of Rome. He accepted a professorship in sculpture at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan, in 1940. In 1946 the artist settled permanently in Milan. He participated in Twentieth-Century Italian Art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1944. Curt Valentin began exhibiting Marini’s work at his Buchholz Gallery in New York in 1950, on which occasion the sculptor visited the city and met Jean Arp, Max Beckmann, Alexander Calder, Lyonel Feininger, and Jacques Lipchitz. On his return to Europe, he stopped in London, where the Hanover Gallery had organized a solo show of his work, and there met Henry Moore. — The students of Marini included George Baldessin, Magdalena Jetelová, Krishna Reddy, Parviz Tanavoli. — LINKS
Horse on Blue Background (600x872pix _ ZOOM to 1400x2035pix)
Il cavaliere (1948, 45x34cm)
Composition (800x632pix, 147kb) _ The pseudonymous Seyler Sailluz, has metamorphosed this into three richly detailed and colorful abstractions
      _ Con Posición (2007; 550x778pix, 164kb _ ZOOM 1 to 778x1100pix, 333kb _ ZOOM 2 to 1100x1556pix, 682kb _ ZOOM 3 to 1710x2418pix, 1666kb _ ZOOM 4 to 2658x3760pix, 3592kb) and
      _ Sit On Compost (2007; 550x778pix, 164kb _ ZOOM 1 to 778x1100pix, 333kb _ ZOOM 2 to 1100x1556pix, 682kb _ ZOOM 3 to 1710x2418pix, 1666kb _ ZOOM 4 to 2658x3760pix, 3592kb) and
      _ Ceux Qu'On Pose Y Sont (2007; 550x778pix, 164kb _ ZOOM 1 to 778x1100pix, 334kb _ ZOOM 2 to 1100x1556pix, 682kb _ ZOOM 3 to 1710x2418pix, 1666kb _ ZOOM 4 to 2658x3760pix, 3602kb).
Composition in Red (800x597pix)
Composition (609x770pix, 124kb)
Composition (662x800pix, 130kb)
Marino From Shakespeare I (1977, 50x40cm; 800x627pix, 132kb)
105 images at Ciudad de la Pintura —(070804)

1702 Claude Huillot, French painter born in 1632. — Relative? of Pierre Nicolas Huilliot [1674-1751]?

^ 1609 Federico Zuccaro, Italian painter, draftsman, and writer, born in 1541, give or take one year. He and his brother, Taddeo Zucccaro [01 Sep 1529 – 02 Sep 1566], were leaders in the development of a classicizing style of painting that succeeded High Mannerism in Rome in the late 16th century. Apart from important commissions for churches, the brothers participated in some of the most significant decorative projects of the period, including the Sala Regia in the Vatican and the Villa Farnese at Caprarola. Federico’s travels contributed to the spread of the Mannerist style throughout Italy and Europe; less inventive than Taddeo, his work had a more conventional academic quality that made it easier to emulate.
     Having been invited to Rome by his brother, between 1555 and 1563 he worked with Taddeo on various projects including the Villa Farnese at Caprarola and the Pucci Chapel in Trinità dei Monti, Rome. Many of Federico’s drawings for both commissions show Taddeo’s influence. According to Vasari, Taddeo supervised his brother’s early work, which created friction between them. In 1558, for example, when they collaborated on painting the façade of the house of Tizio da Spoleto with scenes from the Life of Saint Eustace, Taddeo retouched some of his brother’s paintings, so offending Federico. Already at 18 Federico was commissioned to paint many works at the Vatican: The Transfiguration, The Marriage at Cana and other scenes from the Life of Christ for the decorations (since partly destroyed) of the Casino of Pius IV; an Escutcheon of Pius IV flanked by Justice and Equity (1562) for the Tribunale della Ruota Romana and 16 scenes from the Life of Moses at the Belvedere. — Bartolomé Carducho and Raffaellino da Carducho Reggio were assistants of Zuccaro. — Zuccaro's students included Pablo de Céspedes, Ghezzi, Domenico Passignano, Bartolomeo Schedoni, Otto van Veen.


Born on a 06 August:


1944 Darío Morales, Columbian painter who died (main coverage) on 21 March 1988 —(090805)

1928 Andrew Warhola “Andy Warhol”, US Pop artist who died (full coverage) on 22 February 1987.

1894 Joseph Fernand Lacasse, Belgian painter who died (main coverage) on 26 October 1975. —(070803)

^1893 Jacques Martin-Ferrières, French artist who died in 1972.
–- S#*> La Vallée du Vert (1927, 100x140cm; 571x799pix, 135kb)
Boats in Harbor (74x91cm; 480x607pix, 68kb) —(070803)

^1872 George Hand Wright, US painter who died on 14 March 1951. — Not to be confused with George Wright [1860-1942] — Relative? of Frank Lloyd Wright [08 Jun 1867 – 09 Apr 1959], James Henry Wright [1813-1883]? — {Did George Hand Wright write right with his right hand?}— George Hand Wright was born in Pennsylvania. His masterful drawings and water colors merited his being made a member of the National Academy. As an illustrator, he was a weekly contributor to the Saturday Evening Post. He was one of the founders of the artistic community of Westport, Connecticut, where he owned a large property with a Dutch Colonial house, an art studio, and a horse barn, all set on several acres of land. George Wright had married -early in the 20th century- Anne Boylan ([877-1954], daughter of Arthur Boylan and Anna (McKenna) Boylan. She was the sister -among others- of William A. Boylan [1869-1940], founder and first President of Brooklyn College, and of Arthur A. Boylan [1879-1957], a President of the New York High School Principal's Association. George Hand Wright and his wife Anne (Boylan) Wright had no children, and he died in Westport, Connecticut.
Waiting for the Train (1893, 44x80cm; 356x650pix, 43kb)
3 Miles to Homeville (450x378pix, 31kb) _ Two young girls, alone in the snow with their little dog, are reading the sign.
The Afternoon Call (25x40cm; 444x600pix, 48kb)
–- S#*> The Channel Crossing (1889, 62x102cm; 228x375pix, 23kb)
Fresh Rolls (197x400pix, 15kb) _ Ship dining room, tilted 30º.
Valley Forge - Army's Desperate Plight (B&W print; 26x34cm) _ A compassionate Washington, keenly alert to the desperate plight of his men, and overwhelmed with his responsibility.

1866 Plinio Nomellini, Italian painter who died (main coverage) on 08 August 1943. —(060806)

1862 Armand André Louis Rassenfosse, Belgian engraver and painter who died on 28 January 1934. He showed a taste for drawing and engraving as a child and later, with the encouragement of his father, who had an art business, he studied occasionally with the Liège painter and engraver Adrien De Witte [1850–1935], a family friend. At this time he became interested in contemporary literature and in the literary review La Jeune Belgique. He also collected the engravings of Félicien Rops whom he met in Paris in 1886, an event which was to prove a decisive influence on his career. — [Ce Rassenfosse sera sans fausse humilité, comme un rat sans fosse s'enfonce dans une fausse fosse, forcé de reconnaitre que le jour n'arrivera jamais quand, parmi les pages de l'internet, il y en aura cent fausses consacrées au Rassenfosse, cent farces sans face qu'on fasse qui s'effacent.]

^ 1786 Jean-Augustin Daiwaille, Dutch portrait painter and lithographer who died on 11 April 1850. — He was son of (non-artists?) Jean-Nicolas Daiwaille and Theresia Schmitz and, after marrying, on 16 April 1812, (non-artist?) Catharina Elisabeth Waller [19 Jun 1790 – 22 Apr 1818], the father of landscape painter Alexander Joseph Daiwaille [1818-1888], and father-in-law of landscape painter Barend Cornelis Koekkoek [11 Oct 1803 – 05 Apr 1862], who had been his student.
— Jean Augustin Daiwaille was born in Cologne. When he was two his family moved to the Netherlands. His teacher was the renowned painter Adriaan de Lelie. In the 1820s he was the director of the Kon. Academie van Beeldende Kunsten te Amsterdam for some time. Later he moved to Rotterdam, where he died.
Jan Blanken (1825, 79x66cm; 1600x1318pix, 222kb) _ Hydraulic engineer Blanken played an influential part in the development of the Dutch water system in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In spite of the unstable political situation during this period, he enjoyed a successful career. He was commissioned by successive governments to build docks, ports, canals and fortifications. One of his most famous constructions is the North Holland Canal which was completed in 1824. The background of this painting shows the entrance to the canal. This was called the Willemssluizen after William I who commissioned the canal and who, not unreasonably, was nicknamed the Canal King.
     The medals Blanken is wearing, from left to right represent various orders: the Red Eagle of Prussia, the Dutch Lion and the French Legion of Honour. He is dressed in the uniform of superintendent of the Dutch water system, a position he held from 1808. Blanken propagated the wearing of uniforms by hydraulic engineers; it was thought to make supervision of large groups of workers easier. From 1800 he was involved in the organisation of the hydraulic engineering corps. He instituted a military system with ranks and similar distinctions.
    One of Blanken's largest projects was the dry dock at Hellevoetsluis {meaning “hell of a sluice”?), which took some twenty-five years to build. The dock was finished in 1825. The inner timber dock, which was situated higher up, was intended for major repairs. This was separated {by a sluice?} from the keel dock where ships could be brought in and out for minor repairs with greater frequency and away from the timber dock. The steam engine, which was used to pump the dock dry, was a crucial innovation. Blanken obtained the machine from England. It was still quite a novelty in the Netherlands about 1800.

^ 1594 (baptized) Chevaert (or Gérard) Douffet, Liège Flemish painter who died in 1660. — {Au fait, d'où fait Douffet ses Douffets tout-faits? De Douvais?] — He was trained in Liège by Jean Taulier [–1636], probably one of the late Mannerists of the school of Lambert Lombard. It seems likely that he next went to a painter in Dinant known only as Perpète. Abry recorded that Douffet worked in Rubens’s workshop from 1612 to 1614; this is doubtful, though he probably did study in Antwerp. After 1614 Douffet probably went to Italy, and in 1620 and 1622 he is recorded, with Valentin de Boulogne, in Rome. He knew such Caravaggisti as Bartolomeo Manfredi and Nicolas Tournier. No work of Douffet from this period is known. Douffet est l'auteur d'une Invention de la sainte croix (1624) que l'on considère comme "le tableau manifeste de cette école liégeoise". Mais son chef-d'oeuvre est incontestablement La visite du pape Nicolas V au tombeau de saint François, admirable par la science de la mise en page, la cohérence des structures, le mouvement général qui relie les scènes apparemment fragmentées, l'éloquence apologétique du thème. — Bertholet Flémal [1614-1675] was a student of Douffet.
— Engraved portrait of Nicolas de Gomzé, abbot of Beaurepart (1639, 24x16cm), by Michel Natalis after Gérard Douffet.
Man with a scar (283x217pix, 12kb)


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