Baroque and Beyond C. 1600–1850

The Golden Age of Spain

Who was Diego Velazquez?

Diego Velazquez (1599–1660) was a leading Spanish painter from Seville, who served as the court painter to King Philip IV. Inspired by the style of Caravaggio, Velazquez’s work emphasized naturalism, contrasts of light and dark, and the dignity of everyday people. He painted portraits of King Philip IV and Pope Innocent X, as well as Juan de Pareja, a slave, and Sebastian de Morra, a dwarf and attendant at court. Velazquez was particularly concerned with raising the status of the artist in Spain and works such as Las Hillanderas (c. 1657) and Las Meninas (1656), have been associated with this theme.


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