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About Diego Velazquez


Diego Velázquez, 1599 – 1660

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez, a Spanish painter, the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV.

Velázquez was an individualistic artist of the contemporary baroque period. In addition to numerous renditions of scenes of historical and cultural significance, he created scores of portraits of the Spanish royal family, other notable European figures, and commoners, culminating in the production of his masterpiece, Las Meninas (1656).

Diego Velázquez began to study under Francisco de Herrera, who disregarded the Italian influence of the early Seville school.


In December 1622, Rodrigo de Villandrando, the King's favorite court painter, died. Don Juan de Fonseca conveyed to Velázquez the command to come to the Court from the Count-Duke of Olivares, the powerful minister of Philip IV. 

On August 1623, the King sat for Velázquez. Complete in one day the portrait was likely to have been no more than a head sketching, and the King and wad pleased. In 1624 moved to Madrid, which became his home for the remainder of his life. In 1627, Philip set a competition for the best painters of Spain the subject of the expulsion of the Moors. Velázquez won.

In 1650 in Rome Velázquez also painted a portrait of his servant, Juan de Pareja, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Diego Velázquez returned to Spain in 1651, taking with him many pictures and 300 pieces of statuary, which afterwards were arranged and cataloged for the king. One of his final works was Las hilanderas (The Spinners), painted circa 1657, representing the interior of the royal tapestry works.

Diego Velázquez rarely signed his pictures, and the royal archives give the dates of only his most important works.

Velázquez's biography
Velázquez at cyberspain
Velázquez at artcyclopedia
Velázquez at artchive
Velázquez at Olga's Gallery
Velázquez at Web Museum, Paris
Velázquez at cgfa