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Velazquez`s Las Meninas

Velazquez`sLas Meninas

LasMeninas is a 1656 painting by Diego Velazquez the known and leadingartist of the Spanish Golden Age. Notably, it is a spectacularpainting that currently hangs in Spain, the Museo Nacional Del Pradoin Madrid. It is an oil on image and measures about 10’5 by 9inches. According to Senkevitch, it has long been identified as oneof the most significant painting in the Western history (21). Theenigmatic and complex compositions raise several questions aboutillusion and reality and create indeterminate association between thefigures depicted and the viewers. Because of its characteristics,this painting is one of the most analyzed to reveal its true meaning.Although the work is complex, it a demonstration of a genuinephilosophy of art which every individual need to understand.

Someof the key facts about Velazquez’s Las Meninas include its namewhich was changed at some points. At the inventory it was calledRetrato de la Senora con sus Damas y Una enana, then after a fire inthe year 1934, its name changed to Senor Rey Phelipe Quarto andfinally to its current name(Velazquez Las Meninas). Las Meninas wentstraight from the royal hands to the national museum, and due to thisreason, the painting has never loaned out (Brown 34). Additionally,the painting was posthumously altered under the royal command, and itis also very enormous. Velazquez’s Las Meninas serves as animportant article to the people since it gives its audience access tothe king’s point of view. As a final remark, it also makes a cameoof its own and only one person in the painting remains undefined.

TheVelazquez Las Meninas painting was never meant to the community orpublic display. It was principally created for the King’s privateoffice, and this could be reflected through its very comfortable andrelaxed setting which was quite different from the normally posedpictures, always seen in the royalty (Brown 37). Due to its post inthe royalty, size was necessary for proper viewing and therefore thepainting is over ten feet by nine feet large. The purpose ofcreating Velazquez Las Mininan painting mainly to the King was toserve as a symbol of honor, higher rank, and distinction, not tocomment on the fact of being capable of commissioning as well asowning such a piece. The painting was also a symbolism of prestigeparticularly to the King because the skills used in its design were asignificant feature in rendering such lavishness. Therefore, it wascreated for royalty and served as a sign of appreciation and honor tothe king.

Oneof the precursors of Las Meninan is Prado’s Las Meninas which hadbeen hanging unnoticed in Dorset for more than 150 years. Thisprecursor is currently hanging in Madrid particularly at the Pradomuseum. The undisputed Velázquez precursor depicts the members ofthe Spanish court with Infanta Margaret Theresa at the center. Thisprecursor’s use of angles and mirrors has left, reveals its exactmeaning which is exposed to many interpretations from the critics.

Thehistorical, political, and social trends have got a great impact onVelazquez Las Meninas. For example, the art historian known as MatiazDiaz has claimed a portrait in Lacy House kingdom, a stately house.The Lacy Kingdom portrait was in the past thought to be a copy of LasMeninas work, but residents like Diaz have been seen to grab it(Shapiro 327). The painting had also promoted the king`s throne bymaking it more powerful as compared to the time before it was broughtto the palace, the king is now considered worthy. Socially, thepainting has improved the social well- being of the society membersmaking them have a good taste for artistic work thereby, promotingthe industry through purchasing its arts items (Bukvic &amp John17). On the other hand, the political trends have greatly had apositive impact on the Velazquez Las Meninan since the politicianspurchase these items as a sign of royalty and the items also craftthem a sense of pride. Remarkably, the Kings feel flamboyant whenthey stand patiently posing their Velazquez portrait to the subjects.

Velazquez`sLas Meninas was unique and different compared to other types of workthat were painted by other artists in several ways. First, it was notmeant to be displayed for public view but was specifically put in thebedroom of the King, an act that was not applied to other works ofthe same artist and even others (Bukvic &amp John 17). Additionally,the painting was meant for royalty considering its size.Specifically, it was ten by nine foot. Although Velazquez had doneseveral drawings, the size of this particular one attracted theattention of people who had a chance to view it. According toSenkevitch, this was a symbol of distinction and rank that mostpictures painted by other artists did not identify (24). This is alsoreflected by the comfortable and relaxed setting, in contrast to thenormally posed pictures people see of royalty. Therefore, while thesame artists did several portraits, Las Meninas was unique fromothers due to its size, purpose, and the audience.

AlthoughVelazquez has done several works, Las Meninas is still considered hisgreatest and unique one. Other than its sheer size, he also usedcertain qualities that he did not employ in other paintings. Notably,he created a gamut of cool and warm color combinations with uniquevalues of browns and grays. He also used red-orange to show theviewers to look at key areas (Roe 616). The intricacy of the imageis stunning. Particularly, the closely life-sized images, the mannerthe lighting was utilized and the style the surrounding canvas werepainted in consequence to the Infanta is remarkable. The delusion ofthe reality is truly extraordinary. Therefore, as compared to hisprevious work, Las Meninas still possess the best rating. Moreover,it has been named differently by several leaders who also believethat it is the best painting in history.

TheVelasquez Las Meninas has had a great impact on the currents artists.The present artists try to copy the styles which were used byVelazquez during his artistic work into their work. Because of this,the artists have been able to develop an impressive and beautifulwork of art making the public to like their art items (Roe 212). Thecurrent artists have also incorporated the Velazquez paintingtechniques into their work. The methods tend to portray the modernworld, and this has made people all over the world to have a goodimpression for the current artists’ items. The authorship of thepainting of the pictures has attracted debates for several years, anda very potential attribution would be of great interest, says DavidTaylor.

Althoughthe specific audience of was the royalty,that is the king and his family other audience included thecitizens. As such, the picture gave the audience another impressionthat has not changed over the time (Shapiro 327). Specifically, otherpeople realized that it was a sign of honor to the leader and mostpeople comprehended that it is important to give the royalty specialrecognition and treatment. Senkevitch posits that the huge portraitis a sign of respect that should be given to all leaders (38). In thecontemporary world, presidents have been given such treatments whichinclude special airplane, home, and security.

Culturally,great artists have expressed their appreciation towards their leadersin several ways. While some people take gifts to the kings, somerequest to perform certain songs and poems as a sign of indebtednessbefore them(Shapiro 327). However, in this case, Velazquez usedanother method that was not expected both by the king and the maids(Brown 20). Particularly, according to Senkevitch, the portrait wasnot meant for the public display but a private sign of honor andgratitude to the then ruling sovereign (21). In most cases, Royalshave been given special treatment that any ordinary individual cannotenjoy. This is because of their service to the society and citizensas a whole. Most importantly, that treatment becomes more specialwhen the king’s performance is beneficial to the community.Therefore, culturally, it was assign of gratefulness and decency.

Inconclusion, Las Meninas by Velazquez remains not only one of hisgreat work but also the best painting in the western history.Specifically, the renowned artist, Velazquez, used several patternsand methods that he never used on the rest of his artistic work,making Las Meninas a unique one. It holds several facts such as oneof the images that were given directly to the king and was notintended for public view. In fact, it was placed in the private roomof the king. It was purposely made for the royalty as a sign of honorand gratitude to the king and his family. Notably, its complexity wasa motivating and a driving force to most artists who worked hard toreach that level. Moreover, it has impacted people politically andsocially. Culturally, it is one of the ways in which citizens haveexpressed their happiness and honor to their leaders. In the currentworld, such appreciation may come through special transport andsecurity to the Presidents. However, in this case, Velazquezexpressed such appreciation through the canvas. Due its complexity,purpose, intention, and size Las Meninas remains one of the bestpaint in history.


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