Velázquez: Las Meninas and the Late Royal Portraits

Velázquez: Las Meninas and the Late Royal Portraits

 
 
 
 
 
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Author

Javier Portús is a curator and the head of the department of Spanish Painting (until 1700) at the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.

Miguel Morán Turina is a Professor of Art History at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Andrea Sommer-Mathis is on the staff of the Commission for Culture Studies and History of Theatre (Austrian Academy of Sciences) in Vienna.

This book presents a complete survey of one of the key moments in the history of the Spanish court portrait, a period spanning the years 1650 to 1680.

In 1650 Velázquez was in Rome, where he depicted members of the papal court with a new freedom of approach, while the following year saw his keenly awaited return to Spain, where he returned to the conventions of the court portrait. From that point onwards and until his death in 1660, Velázquez devoted most of his efforts to satisfying a growing demand for portraits of the Spanish royal family. These images were used for both family and diplomatic purposes, given that Philip IVs children with his last wife, Mariana of Austria, were essential elements in the strategic creation of political alliances across Europe.

These last ten years of Velázquez's career constitute a period with a marked and distinctive personality. His sitters were now primarily women and children rather than men, a difference that was accompanied by changes in the density of the pigment, the pictorial handwriting and the colour range, which became wider and richer. In terms of artistic achievement and social advancement, this decade marks the peak of Velázquez's career, with Las Meninas as his great masterpiece.

Product Code 1037552
Authors Javier Portús, Miguel Morán Turina, Andrea Sommer-Mathis
dimensions 21 x 15 x 2.2 cm
Editor Javier Portús
format Hardback
GTIN 9780500970584
ISBN 9780500970584
pages 176
published January 2014
publisher Thames and Hudson Ltd
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