In art history, some paintings remain ambiguous and can't be interpreted. This makes them very attractive to art historians. Las Meninas by Velázquez is one of them. It was painted hundreds of years ago. But even now, this art canvas painting is mysterious, and art historians are trying to understand its essence.
Who Is the Painter?
Diego Velázquez was born in a poor family in 1599 and rose to the rank of court painter of King Philip IV. Four years before his death, he created one of his most famous works – Las Meninas. It is an illusion picture, a mirror picture, an autobiography picture. The original wall art picture is full of secrets and is not immediately revealed to the viewer.
What's in the Picture?
The picture is full of secrets and is not immediately fully revealed to the viewer. At first glance, the central figure of this large abstract picture is the 5-year-old Margarita, but there are more important figures on the canvas.
In the background, the mirror reflects the main visitors of the artist's studio - the Queen and the King, that is, Philip IV himself with his wife, Marianne. Their faces are blurred not by chance. As art critics say, in this way, Velázquez wanted to emphasize that even monarchs have no power over his work.
The central character of the canvas is Margarita, who is five years old. To the right and left of Margarita, you can see two women – these are the maids. One of the ladies leans toward Margarita in a respectful bow, and the other one hands Margarita water.
You can also see a woman and a man on the right in the middle plan – Margarita's companion and guard. On the right, two dwarfs are drawn. At that time, they acted as jesters.
On the left of the abstract acrylic art painting, a man is depicted with a brush and an easel in his hands. This is Diego Velázquez himself. Most art historians are inclined to believe that he looked a little different in real life, and the picture shows not a real but an idealized self-portrait of the artist.
A mysterious person can also be seen in the door in the background. Most art historians believe that this person is the chamberlain of Queen Marianne of Austria, who was also the keeper of the royal tapestries. There is also a version that the mysterious man is an unknown friend or relative of Velazquez, who often came to his studio.
What Does the Name Mean?
Originally attributed to the royal family, this abstract painting was renamed "Las Meninas" to be considered something much deeper than the traditional family portrait. So, the new name is nothing more than political grandeurification.
What Is Its Style?
This painter is known as an expressive painter. He influenced many artists in the large modern art masterpieces. Modern artists and photographers tried to embody the contrast of light and dark, the subtle and expressive character of the Spanish painter. Contrary to, or perhaps because of, its duality, Las Meninas becomes one of the most famous paintings in the world.