lecture 7

lecture 7 - 20:31 Diego Velazquez Las Meninas (The Maids of...

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20:31 Diego Velazquez Las Meninas (The Maids of Honor) 1656 Oil on canvas Court artist of King Philip IV of Spain, equal of the Pope and the king of France, head of  major world power, one of the most important Catholic rulers of this period, and in terms  of public policy, concerned with the promotion of Catholicism   Counter Reformation How the artist continued to be involved with the system of patronage, how the artist tried  to make more of himself through that system of patronage Larger sense that powerful individuals are paying for art (portraiture, commission  paintings) This is his most famous painting A portrait of a member of the king’s family, the princess (in the center) Serves as being something about identity, construction of members of the royal family  (most important people in Europe) Important to recognize that Velazquez is important enough, central enough to be taking  on commissions for someone like the king of Spain He’s somebody not just working on commission but a member of the royal household Moving from the role of simply being a workman on commission or an artist working for  the market, to someone engaged with the social/.political circles that the king moved in How does he present himself in this image? Painting Portrait of the crown princess of the Spanish kingdom, surrounded by her maids of  honor Entertainers for the Infanta, the princess Dog, dwarf The trappings of what goes into portraiture Easy for us to forget that portraits were time-consuming and difficult
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Process of days for the child to sit there, long enough for Velazquez to at least make  sketches Made a portrait which is also genre painting, a painting of a certain kind of everyday life  (not focused on lower class though), but a sort of record of the kind of everyday life that  someone like Velazquez would experience in the king’s household Most commented-on feature Not only a portrait or a genre, but also a self-portrait Velazquez includes himself prominently in the image in the process of painting The room = his studio + picture gallery Both portraiture and the production of painting and genre   wide range of artistic  processes Why is it argued about so much??? What we can’t know is what it is that he’s actually supposed to be painting on this  canvas, which is frustratingly turned away from us Maybe precisely this scene? Representation of a naturalistic world that is a continuation of the optical space of the 
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This note was uploaded on 03/14/2012 for the course AHIS 121g taught by Professor Baker during the Spring '06 term at USC.

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lecture 7 - 20:31 Diego Velazquez Las Meninas (The Maids of...

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