Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Velásquez, Diego

Las Meninas (Maids of Honor)
1656 - 57
Oil on canvas
318 × 276 cm (125.2 × 108.7 in)
Museo del Prado, Madrid

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (1599 – 1660) was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV. From the first quarter of the nineteenth century, Velázquez's artwork was a model for the realist and impressionist painters, as well as modern artists, including Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. They have paid tribute to Velázquez by recreating several of his most famous works.

Las Meninas has long been recognised as one of the most important paintings in Western art history. In the 19th century Sir Thomas Lawrence called the work "the philosophy of art". More recently, it has been described as "Velázquez's supreme achievement, a highly self-conscious, calculated demonstration of what painting could achieve, and perhaps the most searching comment ever made on the possibilities of the easel painting".