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|This file has been superseded by File:Las Meninas, by Diego Velázquez, from Prado in Google Earth.jpg. It is recommended to use the other file. Please note that deleting superseded images requires consent.
|Date||1656 or 1657|
|Medium||oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||318 × 276 cm (125.2 × 108.7 in)|
|Source/Photographer||www.oneonta.edu - "Las Meninas"|
( Reusing this file)
|JPEG file comment||VELÁZQUEZ, Diego Rodriguez de Silva y
(b. 1599, Sevilla, d. 1660, Madrid)
Las Meninas 1656-57 Oil on canvas, 318 x 276 cm Museo del Prado, Madrid
This is a composition of enormous representational impact. The Infanta Margarita stands proudly amongst her maids of honour, with a dwarf to the right. Although she is the smallest, she is clearly the central figure; one of her maids is kneeling before her, and the other leaning towards her, so that the standing Infanta, with her broad hooped skirt, becomes the fulcrum of the movement. The dwarf, about the same size as the Infanta, is so ugly that Margarita appears delicate, fragile and precious in comparison. On the left in the painting, dark and calm, the painter himself can be seen standing at his vast canvas. Above the head of the Infanta, we see the ruling couple reflected in the mirror.
The spatial structure and positioning of the figures is such that the group of Las Meninas around the Infanta appears to be standing on "our" side, opposite Philip and his wife. Not only is the "performance" for their benefit, but the attention of the painter is also concentrated on them, for he appears to be working on their portrait. Although they can only be seen in the mirror reflection, the king and queen are the actual focus of the painting towards which everything else is directed. As spectators, we realize that we are excluded from the scene, for in our place stands the ruling couple. What seems at first glance to be an "open" painting proves to be completely hermetic - a statement further intensified by the fact tbat the painting in front of Velázquez is completely hidden from our view.
Author: VELÁZQUEZ, Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Title: Las Meninas Time-line: 1601-1650 School: Spanish Form: paintingType: portrait
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