Biography of Diego de Silva Velázquez | Spanish painter.

(Diego de Silva Velázquez; Seville, 1599 - 1660, Madrid) Spanish painter. Artistic personality most prominent of his time, Diego Velázquez is also the culminating figure of Spanish art, unrivalled until the times of Goya.
Diego Velázquez performed his apprenticeship in Seville, in the workshop of Pacheco, whose daughter married in 1617. When he was still a teenager, he painted some religious works (The Immaculate Conception, The adoration of the Magi) with unusual realism and pronounced effects of chiaroscuro. To the same period belongs to a series of works of genre figures of prodigious intensity and an intense accuracy in the reproduction of human types and inanimate objects; among other examples one can quote old woman cooking eggs and the waterseller of Seville.
Also by then he painted unusual paintings of religious themes set in scenarios everyday, such as Christ in the House of Martha and Christ at Emmaus; in fact, the ability of religious scenes become something close and realistic is a feature of the Sevillian Baroque Velázquez bequeathed to other artists of his time.
These works, a style that is otherwise very different from its stage of maturity, earned him some reputation, which reached the Court, so in 1623, Diego Velázquez was called to Madrid by the count-Duke of Olivares, valido de Felipe IV, so that paint a portrait of the King; both liked the work to the sovereign who appointed him court painter.

Las Meninas by Velázquez
A long and prestigious career courtesan along which received notable titles, such as usher's camera and Knight of the order of Santiago began to Velázquez. Since his official appointment until the end of his days he painted numerous portraits of Felipe IV and various members of his family, on foot or on horseback.
It's works great realism and exceptional sobriety where the masterful use of light placed the bodies in space and vibrates to its around a real atmosphere that envelops them. Funds, very dense at the beginning, are smoothed and then rinsed with the passage of time. The female portraits (of Mariana of Austria, for example), the artist recreates is in gorgeous dresses, which shows his great qualities as a colorist.
The culmination of his career as a portraitist is Las Meninas, considered by some as the most important pictorial work of all time. It should be noted also incomparable series of dwarfs and cripples the Court. Velázquez made two trips to Italy, one in 1629-1631 and 1648-1651. Both produced important works: José tunic and the forge of Vulcan in the first; the portrait of Juan de Pareja and Pope Innocent X in the second; the Pope is a marvelous portrait, endowed with exceptional vivacity, an intensity and a colorism.

The surrender of Breda by Velázquez
The Sevillian genius is a masterpiece of historical painting, the surrender of Breda, painted also in 1634 for kingdoms Hall of the Palace of the Buen Retiro in Madrid. The merit of the work lies in the absence of the usual engolamiento in historical-themed pictures and the embodiment of the more human aspects of the event; the admirably determined composition and atmosphere of extraordinary realism have made this work one of the best known of the master.
Artist prolific, Diego Velázquez also left important creations of religious themes (crucified) and some mythological subject in everyday, like drunkards or Las hilanderaskey, this one of capital works of the artist by the perfection which it reaches the aerial perspective. The tone of everyday, live event, these realizations gives a particular attraction.
Mythological themes is likewise the Venus of mirrormaster, the only female nude who painted and one of only a few in the history of Spanish painting. Little known outside Spain until the 19th century, Diego Velázquez is today considered one of the great geniuses of universal painting.
Extracted from the website: Biografías y Vidas
Biographies of historical figures and personalities

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