Saturday, February 5, 2011

!00 paintings an artist should know unit 9

21) Las Meninas Diego Velazquez 1599-1660
Velazquez was the official court painter of Philip IV of Spain. Las Meninas above shows the daughter of the king, Margaret Theresa and her handmaidens and a pet dwarf or two. Velazquez is painting over on the left side of the canvas.He had been a part of the court for thirty three years when he painted this. He and the king had become close and Philip wrote that he was "crushed" when Vealzquez died.

22) Velazquez, The surrender at Breda
The Spanish conquered the town of Breda in what is now the Netherlands in 1625. One of the interesting things about this picture is the row of upright pikes on the right balanced by a smaller number of halberds on the left. This is an unusual and distinctive motive. The "key" to the city being handed over by the vanquished commander is at the center of the scene, everything else revolves around that.

23) Velazquez, The water seller of Seville.
I chose this painting because it is a good example of the type of Velazquez painting that was a tremendous influence on 19th century art. His painting became all the rage in 19th century France and many artists built their technique on his style. He painted with long bristled brushes and in a loose and planar style. Velazquez extremely restrained palette and frequent use of black and gray was a big influence through Carolus Duran on John Sargent. I want to stress again the chains of influence that run through traditional painting.
images from


Brady said...

I always think in the Water Seller of Seville that the jugs are the subject of the painting.

They just seem more finished or something to me.

Manatee Writers said...

I've been thinking about a painting I want to do but I wasn't sure about the design of it (a street scene). After reading this, now I know...."the chains of influence". Thanks Stape! said...

While I always appreciate master brush's design that always gets me. The Water Seller is brilliant. Inserting big planar fields surrounded by more accomplished sections such as the jugs is very daring and gives each more strength by virtue of the contrast and the tension it builds.
I think it is well placed here among your 100. It does foreshadow much that is to come.

willek said...

I'll bet the water seller's actual tunic had no torn shoulder seam. He need it to complete the circle of lights which is key to this compositional plan.

Philip Koch said...

Willek is right.

billspaintingmn said...

This is the first time I've seen the water seller of Seville. My eye
went straight to the jugs.
Marian and Willeks' comments got me to take another look.
The furthest figure seems simple yet has an impression that is strong.
I really like this!

jerrycampbell said...

Thanks so much for this series, Stape. I'm enjoying the heck out of it.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I love those jugs too. Magnificent painting.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Those chains of love, gotta hold on me-Ronnie Spector?

Stapleton Kearns said...

It certainly foreshadows Sargent

Stapleton Kearns said...

I think you are right!

Stapleton Kearns said...

Now Philip is right too.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Whats not to like?

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks, I always worry a little when I go on art history jags that people will find it too esoteric and want the more art instruction sort of posts. You gotta know this stuff.