Las Meninas is a 1656 painting by Diego Velázquez, the leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age. It is believed to depict the main chamber in the Royal Alcazar of Madrid during the reign of King Philip IV of Spain. It has been described as a highly self-conscious, calculated demonstration of what painting could achieve.
About Las Meninas in brief
Las Meninas is a 1656 painting by Diego Velázquez, the leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age. It is believed to depict the main chamber in the Royal Alcazar of Madrid during the reign of King Philip IV of Spain. Its complex and enigmatic composition raises questions about reality and illusion, and creates an uncertain relationship between the viewer and the figures depicted. Las Meninas has long been recognised as one of the most important paintings in Western art history. The Baroque painter Luca Giordano said that it represents the \”theology of painting\”, and in 1827 the president of the Royal Academy of Arts Sir Thomas Lawrence described the work in a letter to his successor David Wilkie as ‘the true philosophy of the art’. The painting was referred to in the earliest description of La Familia as “The Ladies-in-waiting’, and is now in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, where it is on display with other works of art by the Spanish painters of the 1640s, 1650s and 1660s. It has been described as 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\”. The painting is now on display in the Museum of Fine Arts, Madrid, alongside works by Raphael, Titian, Rubens, and Rubens’s son Ruben, as well as other examples of Spanish art from the 16th and 17th century.
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