Las Meninas by Diego Velazquez

Las Meninas is the most famous painting from the career of Spanish painter Diego Velazquez who was prominent within the 17th century. Las Meninas is now on display at the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain. This particular painting is a good example of what qualities marked artist Velazquez out from other painters in Europe at that time. This website discusses the life and career of Velazquez in detail as well as looking into the influence left by this famous painting.

Art critics within the 19th century interestingly compared this painting to the invention of photograph and talked of how the artist managed to capture a true moment in time that they labelled as naturalism. It was very rare for a painter of the 17th century Baroque movement to cover a collection of people in such a natural and seemingly unplanned way. In fact, the artist had planned the scene to perfection to had the skill to pretend otherwise.

Diego Velazquez was a highly respected artist in his time who was well connected with members of Spanish high society, which enabled him to receive impressive commissions from notable individuals and families who wanted their own portraits to be produced by the leading artistic figures of that period in order to help strengthen their own legacy. Las Meninas captures "The Maids of Honour" and even includes the artist within the work, serving as an interesting insight into how the painter saw himself.

Las Meninas Velazquez

Las Meninas painting by Diego Velazquez

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Las Meninas Velazquez prints can be found from the links in this website. The original painting was an impressive size at over 3m x 2m and offered Diego Velazquez an opportunity to add as much detail as possible to each of the characters depicted within the finished art work. The detail is so considerable that many art fans actually buy reproductions of cropped areas of the original which just show perhaps one favoured portrait from the overall piece, and it still retains clarity thanks to the size of the original.

Diego Velazquez was an important Spanish artist who was part of the Baroque art movement which followed on soon after the Renaissance periods which began in Italy and spread across the rest of Europe. The Baroque periods marked the first time that Spanish artists started to be at forefont of new ideas and were no-longer simply following others. Velazquez himself was a particularly important influence within the umbrella of Spanish art throughout the 17th century thanks to his important connections and undoubtable technical skills.

A further quality to this painting is the artist's impressive use of light which flows comfortably through the painting. Velazquez carefully uses the direction of the sunlight to direct the viewer's eyes to what he felt should be the key focus of the painting, which seemed to be a direct choice between the individuals who were positioned closest to the front of the painting. The young girl with a wide traditional dress is the recipient of the most light and this helps to set the rest of the painting around her.

Las Meninas

Las Meninas painting by Diego Velazquez

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Diego Velazquez's original paintings, especially Las Meninas, have become amongst the most reproduced of all Spanish works and as such the reputation of this artist is still exceptionally strong. The Museo del Prado in Madrid where Las Meninas is currently displayed rates this painting as amongst the biggest attractions for visitors which is quite a statement considering the extensive collection of fine art which is available at this prestigious location.

With Velazquez's reputation remaining so exceptionally strong it is worth noting that the mediums in which most of his fans buy reproductions of his paintings are as framed giclee art prints, which is well suited to the traditional baroque style of this painter. Other popular choices include unframed prints, posters and stretched canvases. All of the links included within this website offer you the opportunity to find the Diego Velazquez prints gallery which includes Las Meninas within it's large collection of prints available to buy online.

The method the Velazquez uses to make any viewer of the painting feel truly as if they are there is to direct the eyes of most of the characters towards the front of the painting, making one feel as if they have perhaps just entered this room to find such an incredible amount of entertainment and fun being had. It is pleasing to feel that you are part of this art work as it can only be you that all of these looks are being directed.

Las Meninas Diego Velazquez

Las Meninas painting by Diego Velazquez

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Las Meninas by Diego Velazquez has become a common topic within art history study, such is the amount of information about it now available. The artistic advancements made by this painting have led to a huge amount of research being made into it over the years that followed, both into the technical construction of the painting itself plus the specific people included within it, most of whom are believed to be portraits of real people with whom the artist had met and painted at the time. Several of those included in the painting were highly notable individuals in their own right, making this an important painting besides just it's artistic qualities.

Las Meninas has been studied in detail by some world famous painters who have followed on from Velazquez in leading art development within Europe. The likes of Salvador Dali have even gone to the lengths of recreating his paintings within their own style, adding a further dimension to the legacy of this artist's career. Velazquez would have been seen as a major inspiration to famous Spanish artists like Dali who followed on afterwards and saw how creative ideas can prove successful.

Las Meninas came about in 1656 and took Velazquez a considerable amount of time to complete because of the large amount of detail included as well as the different people who each had to be covered together in this art work. Many have discussed the mystical nature of this art work and are unsure as to whether the people included are definitely those that most believe them to be, or whether they are in fact just imaginary characters created from the mind of this creative Spaniard, which is also more than possible.

Disclaimer: Lasmeninasvelazquez.com is a fan website dedicated to the painting Las Meninas produced by famous Spanish painter Diego Velazquez, and is in no way an official website for painter Velazquez, nor does it claim to be. The Estate of Diego Velazquez and their presence hold all necessary copyrights and licences for all of his paintings and other works. All Las Meninas prints, paintings and photos included in Lasmeninasvelazquez.com are provided as an affiliate to Art.com who hold necessary permissions.