Sunday, July 6, 2014

"The Culminating Work of Universal Painting"

Back to Velazquez from yesterday.  Here is a close-up of Spanish King Philip IV's daughter, The Infanta Margarita from Velazquez's painting completed in 1656.

Pretty amazing don't you think?

Painting and sculpture were thought of as a craft in Spain during this time because the work was done by hand.  In Italy during this same period, painting was considered to be a liberal art.

Velazquez wanted the profession of painter in Spain to be at least equal to that of a musician.  Of course, at the time, if you were actually paid for what you created you would be involved in a "trade" which essentially meant you were a craftsman.

According to Michener in his book Iberia, The curators of the Museo del Prado have referred to Las Meninas as "the culminating work of universal painting". 

Robert M. Underwood Jr. writes in his Critical Analysis of Diego Velazquez's Las Meninas, "It certainly does hold all of the best things that can be said about a masterpiece with which so many mysteries are associated.  It is ethereal, atmospheric, and elegant.  As a portrayal of humanity, it indicates a depth of understanding through its power of execution."

We'll talk more about it tomorrow and see some more close-ups of this work.

Hope you had a fun filled 4th of July weekend!