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Research Project: Las Meninas Paintings Essay

2300 words - 9 pages

Research Project: Las Meninas Paintings


Velazquez first painted Las Meninas in 1656 as a portrait for the king of Spain. Many other artists have attempted to recreate or make their own rendition of the subject. Pablo Picasso made a series of 55 paintings pertaining to the same subject of Las Meninas. regarded as one of the most influential paintings, many artists have taken inspiration form this monumental work.

One of my first cultural awakenings happened when I was 10. In the summer entering fifth grade, my parents took us on a trip to Spain. On of the most memorable moments from our week long vacation to Spain included our visit to Museo del Prado in Madrid. I was surrounded by a large array of European art, but Velazquez’s Las Meninas particularly mesmerized me. . It was possibly its monumental size that interested, but non-the less it was probably my favorite thing I saw at the museum. Following our visit to Madrid, we journeyed to Barcelona. Ones again we visited many museums, and ones again I was mesmerized by one artwork in particular, Las Meninas. This time, however it was Picasso’s rendition. The painting that I had fallen in love with previously was presented to me again with different compositions, colors ad styles. There was something about the similarities yet differences that fascinated the young me until today. Now that I have attained more knowledge about art and I am able to understand it better, these types of artworks continue to captivate me.

The original: Velázquez Las Meninas

Diego Velazquez painted the original “Las Meninas” painting in the year 1656. The baroque painting done in Oil painted on canvas is currently located in Museo del Prado in Madrid ("Velazquez - Las Meninas: Analysis and Interpretation - Posters - Prints.").

Diego Velazquez was born in Seville, Spain in 1599. He first apprenticed Francisco Pacheco who taught him to paint Catholic subjects in an idealized style. He later began painting kitchen scenes, or bode ones as Caravaggio influenced him. He became to official painter of the king of Spain Philip IV where he was influenced by artists such as Peter Paul Rubens and by Venetian paintings. He continues to be a very influential artist because of his technique and personal style.

The painting is a royal portrait with the focus on the five-year-old princess Margarita as maids and two dwarfs attend her to. In the background of the portrait, the queen and king are reflected from a mirror, which suggest that they would be standing similarly to where the viewer would be standing. Velázquez paints himself into the portrait in the left hand side, and shows himself as an artist at work. This composition is more natural and the movement of the royal family is normal. The purpose of this work is to depict the royal family, as well as depict Velazquez as part of this royal family. The materials used are pretty typical of the time as the use of oil on canvas was commonly used in the...

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