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Las Meninas
Las Meninas (pronounced: [las meˈninas]; Spanish for The Ladies-in-Waiting) is a 1656 painting in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, by Diego Velázquez, the leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age. Its complex and enigmatic composition raises questions about reality and illusion, and creates an uncertain relationship between the viewer and the figures depicted. Because of these complexities, Las Meninas has been one of the most widely analyzed works in Western painting.
The painting shows a large room in the Royal Alcazar of Madrid during the reign of King Philip IV of Spain, and presents several figures, most identifiable from the Spanish court, captured, according to some commentators, in a particular moment as if in a snapshot. Some look out of the canvas towards the viewer, while others interact among themselves. The young Infanta Margaret Theresa is surrounded by her entourage of maids of honour, chaperone, bodyguard, two dwarfs and a dog. Just behind them, Velázquez portrays himself working at a large canvas. Velázquez looks outwards, beyond the pictorial space to where a viewer of the painting would stand. In the background there is a mirror that reflects the upper bodies of the king and queen. They appear to be placed outside the picture space in a position similar to that of the viewer, although some scholars have speculated that their image is a reflection from the painting Velázquez is shown working on.
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Les Ménines
Les Ménines (en espagno : Las Meninas, les demoiselles d'honneur), également connu sous l'appellation La famille de Philippe IV, est le portrait le plus célèbre de Diego Velázquez et a été peint en 1656. Le peinture à l'huile est présenté au musée du Prado de Madrid. La composition complexe et énigmatique de la toile interroge le lien entre réalité et illusion et crée une relation incertaine entre celui qui regarde la toile et les personnages qui y sont dépeints. Cette complexité a été la source de nombreuses analyses qui font de cette toile l'une des plus commentées de l'histoire de la peinture occidentale.
Ce tableau dépeint une très grande pièce du palais du roi Philippe IV dans laquelle se trouvent plusieurs personnages de la cour. La jeune infante Marguerite-Thérèse est entourée de demoiselles d'honneur, d'un chaperon, d'un garde du corps, d'une naine, d'un enfant italien et d'un chien. Derrière eux, Velázquez se représente lui-même en train de peindre, regardant au-delà la peinture, comme s'il regardait directement l'observateur de la toile. Un miroir à l'arrière plan réfléchit les images de la reine et du roi en train d'être peints par Velázquez (ou peut être, selon certains universitaires, réfléchissant le tableau que peint Vélasquez représentant le roi et la reine). Par le jeu de miroir, le couple royal semble être placé hors de la peinture, à l'endroit même où un observateur se placerait pour voir celle-ci.
Las Meninas („Die Hoffräulein“) ist ein Ölgemälde des spanischen Malers Diego Velázquez. Das 3,18 Meter × 2,76 Meter große Gemälde entstand im Jahr 1656 und befindet sich heute im Museo del Prado in Madrid.
Las Meninas zeigt einen großen Raum des Alcázar von Madrid, der Hauptresidenz von König Philipp IV. von Spanien. Zu sehen sind mehrere, überwiegend eindeutig identifizierbare Personen des spanischen Hofes. Im Mittelpunkt befindet sich die fünfjährige Königstochter Margarita umgeben von Hoffräulein, einem Wächter, zwei so genannten Hofzwergen und einem Hund. Links von ihnen steht Velázquez, der gerade an einer großen Leinwand arbeitet und seinen Blick zum Betrachter richtet. Ein Spiegel hängt im Hintergrund und reflektiert die Oberkörper von König und Königin. Das königliche Paar scheint außerhalb des abgebildeten Raums zu stehen und, ähnlich wie der Betrachter des Gemäldes, zu den abgebildeten Personen zu blicken. Nach Ansicht einiger Kunsthistoriker reflektiert der Spiegel jedoch lediglich das Gemälde, an dem Velázquez gerade arbeitet.
《宮女》(西班牙语:Las Meninas)是西班牙黃金時代畫家委拉斯奎茲(Diego Velázquez)在1656年的一幅畫作,現收藏於馬德里的普拉多博物館。此作品帶有複雜且難解的構圖,引起了關於實景與虛景的難題;並建構了觀察者與畫中人物間的不穩定關係。由於這些複雜性,《宮女》是西方繪畫中經歷最多分析與研究的作品之一,是西洋美術史上的重要作品,巴洛克時期畫家盧卡·焦爾達諾曾說此作品表現了「繪畫的神學」;19世紀的畫家托馬斯·勞倫斯則稱其為「藝術的哲學」;此外,《宮女》也曾被描述成「委拉斯奎茲的最高成就。
油画《宮女》描繪的大房間位於國王西班牙菲利普四世的馬德里皇宮內,畫中所描繪之人物為西班牙宮廷內成員,畫面的擷取方式有如快照攝影。部分人物面向觀畫者,有些則正在與其他人物互動。在畫面中心,宮女、護衛、一名侏儒與一隻狗所環繞的小女孩是德雷莎小公主,腓力四世之女。在這些人的後方,則是面向觀畫者的畫家委拉斯奎茲。背景中懸吊的鏡子反映出國王與皇后的上半身,他們處在畫作اللوحات الفنية 所描繪的空間之外,相當於觀畫者的位置。
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The Painting Las Meninas

Created in 1656 by Diego Velazquez, Las Meninas is an important painting that goes beyond simple details. In Western art history, the painting ranks high not only for its meaning, but for being a technical achievement that has stood the test of time. The general feeling is that this painting is the epitome of art, and a great guide on how to meet legendary standards. It’s the most recognizable work from Velazquez, and over time has been reproduced multiple times in his honor. Outside of the art world, Las Meninas de Velazquez is a much respected piece of history that commands attention as The Scream and Starry Night Van Gogh. The view of the painting takes place in the Royal Alcazar of Madrid, where several figures from the Spanish court have gathered. This was during the time of King Philip IV, so it was easy to identify some of the figures. Of the many people in the painting, the ones that stand out the most are Infanta Margaret Teresa and Velazqueez, who is working on the painting. The bodies of the king and queen can be seen in the reflection of the mirror, a perfect way to enhance how the viewer looks at Velazquez Las Meninas. With all of the detail included on the canvas, the painting has considerable size at 125.2x108.7 inches. The size would be both a pro and a con for the painting, as the large space allowed for finer details to be seen by the naked eye as The Last Supper and Van Gogh Sunflowers. But the larger size also meant that moving it for exhibitions as it got older would prove dangerous to the well-being of the painting. A smaller painting like the Mona Lisa has no such hurdles, but also includes a lot less details than meninas de Velazquez. The size of the painting has been a talking point among historians, especially with the reproductions that tried to match its grand scale.

During the Spanish Golden Age, Velazquez was an important power player in the arts. He was considered to be a leader among the artists during that period, introducing works like Las Meninas. The flourishing of arts and literature also came around a time when the Spanish Habsburg dynasty had grasped power. So there was a bit of political tension surrounding all of the great arts, with the date of the age happening as earlier as 1492. Also known as the Golden Century, there were multiple artists and writers that gained fame during that period earlier than henri matisse and marc chagall. Currently Diego Velazquez Las Meninas is housed at Museo del Prado, or the Prado Museum. It has been there since 1819, becoming one of the elite works included in the foundation of the museum. The painting was officially listed in the Prado catalogue as Las Meninas in 1843, marking a very important date for the history of the museum. Besides security, they have handled the many restoration efforts of Las Meninas and over a thousand other works that have been collected over the years. The Prado Museum has ranked in the top 50 museums worldwide consistently in the modern era. Of the many restorative efforts that have altered the oil painting, the biggest one is its overall size. Both the left and right sides were cut down due to a fire that destroyed a portion of it. In 1734 Juan Garcia de Miranda restored a portion of the damaged, notably the left cheek of the Infanta. Hue and texture has been lost over time, and it was even exposed to pollution while it was exhibited publicly. When it was cleaned in 1984 by John Brealey, the painting looked different, but was much closer to the original before all of the damage.

Las Meninas

Las Meninas de Velazquez didn’t travel much once it was created in the royal palace. The painting was one of the many specially donated to Museo de Prado on its opening, making the painting one of the rare gems of all time that didn’t get loaned out to other organizations. Because of the current condition of the painting, not only has it been removed from daily public exhibitions, but it will never be loaned out. In order to preserve the current condition, the painting will remain at Museo de Prado for the rest of its lifetime like Mona Lisa and Creation of Adam in their places. Diego Velazquez was the Spanish painter credited with creating Las Meninas, and also for being an influential leader of the Spanish Golden Age. He was handpicked by King Philip IV to be the artist of the court, and also showed off his skills during the important Baroque period. His influence was great, and his work was even the inspiration for famous painters like Edouard Manet, Francis Bacon, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. Out of all the Golden Age artists he is the one that is the most reproduced, as artists worldwide have sought to honor Velazquez by recreating his work. One of those works that was once thought to be a reproduction is the one owned by the Kingston Lacy Estate in Dorset. They have a much smaller version of Las Meninas de Velazquez, and it is believed to be from Velazquez himself. This small version like Melting Clocks and Persistence Of Memory is an exact replica of the larger version, although scholars have argued that it could have been done by his son in law, Juan Bautista Martinez del Mazo. After Velaquez’s death, Mazo succeeded him as Spain’s royal painter. His familiarity with his father in laws style only adds to the mystery of the true identity of the smaller Las Meninas.

A lot of artists were influenced by Velazquez Las Meninas, even Neopolitan painter Luca Giordano. During a period where Italian art such as Primavera Botticelli was being heavily purchased by buyers, a lot would flock to the homages and recreations of Velazquez’s paintings, not realizing the original influence. Diego Velazquez Las Meninas became a rare painting that was crossed cultural lines and was admired worldwide by collectors and artists. Even video artist Eve Sussman made a film that was largely inspired by the painting, as it once again ventured beyond art and into media. Several people have analyzed the painting, and in some ways it could be considered a royal portrait. The center of the painting features Infanta Margirita Teresa, who was painted multiple times through her life, but is most recognizable in this painting portraits. King Philip IV of Spain and Mariana of Austria are also in the painting, which is a rare inclusion for the King as he got older. With all of the servants, bodyguards, helpers and others included in the portrait, it is a normal day in the life of royalty. And it’s this simple tone that makes Las Meninas stand out among similar paintings.

Las Meninas de Picasso

The year 1957 marked the creation of 58 artworks paintings by Pablo Picasso in an attempt to recreate and reinterpret the original Las Meninas. Picasso studied the painting greatly to complete his collection, and the series is comprised of nine scenes of a dove, forty-five alterations of the original and three landscape paintings of Jacqueline. He also included a portrait of her in the series, and it stands out among the rest of the collection. Las Meninas Picasso was donated to Museu Picasso, making up its own Las Meninas room. The museum is located in Barcelona, and in 1968 he decided to give away the entire series that that it could be better appreciated by the public. Picasso used oil on canvas for the format of all the works, keeping the styling close to the original but still adding in his own touches where needed. In Las Meninas de Picasso it is easy to see where his styling comes in and where Velazquez’s takes over, and makes for a complex piece of work when going through the entire series. The largest painting completed in the series is Las Meninas (conjunt) at 194x260, with the details almost as impressive as the size of the canvas. Sizes of all the paintings in the series vary, and Las Meninas Picasso is a great choice for viewers that want to see the artist at his best as toperfect.com reviews & complaints. Since creation the painting has been in many exhibitions around the world including London, Japan, Paris, Amsterdam, and of course Spain. Yet the most notable exhibit was in 2008 at the Museu Picasso where several artists were tasked with responding to Velazquez’s painting with their own art. The exhibition was called “Forgetting Velázquez: Las Meninas" and was wildly successful in its execution.

Meninas in English

Las Meninas in English means The Ladies in Waiting, although the former is what it is known the most by. Due to inventory complications, the first mention of it being called Las Meninas was in an 1843 catalogue from Museo del Prado. Before that, it was referred to by multiple names, including La Familia which means The Family. Las functions as the word ‘the’ in translations, so whenever people say Meninas in English they are simply saying ladies in waiting, and in some cases maid of honour. With Las Meninas being one of the most written about Western paintings of all time, the details with the name really makes a difference in how the viewer immerses in the painting.

Las Meninas de Picasso

More Information about Las Meninas


Las Meninas de Velazquez has long been recognised as one of the most important paintings in Western art history. The Baroque painter Luca Giordano said that it represents the "theology of painting" and in 1827 the president of the Royal Academy of Arts Sir Thomas Lawrence described the work in a letter to his successor David Wilkie as "the true philosophy of the art". More recently, it has been described as "Velázquez's supreme achievement, a highly self-conscious, calculated demonstration of what painting could achieve, and perhaps the most searching comment ever made on the possibilities of the easel painting".

Background
Court of Philip IV
In 17th-century Spain, painters rarely enjoyed high social status. Painting was regarded as a craft, not an art such as poetry or music. Nonetheless, Velázquez worked his way up through the ranks of the court of Philip IV, and in February 1651 was appointed palace chamberlain (aposentador mayor del palacio). The post brought him status and material reward, but its duties made heavy demands on his time. During the remaining eight years of his life, he painted only a few works as tamara de lempicka and edward hopper, mostly portraits of the royal family. When he painted Las Meninas, he had been with the royal household for 33 years.
Philip IV's first wife, Elizabeth of France, died in 1644; and their only son, Balthasar Charles, died two years later. Lacking an heir, Philip married Mariana of Austria in 1649, and Margaret Theresa (1651–1673) was their first child, and their only one at the time of the painting. Subsequently, she had a short-lived brother Philip Prospero (1657–1661), and then Charles (1661–1700) arrived, who succeeded to the throne as Charles II at the age of three. Velázquez painted portraits of Mariana and her children, and although Philip himself resisted being portrayed in his old age he did allow Velázquez to include him in Las Meninas as toperfect reviews. In the early 1650s he gave Velázquez the Pieza Principal ("main room") of the late Balthasar Charles's living quarters, by then serving as the palace museum, to use as his studio. It is here that Las Meninas de Velazquez is set. Philip had his own chair in the studio and would often sit and watch Velázquez at work. Although constrained by rigid etiquette, the art-loving king seems to have had an unusually close relationship with the painter. After Velázquez's death, Philip wrote "I am crushed" in the margin of a memorandum on the choice of his successor.
During the 1640s and 1650s, Velázquez served as both court painter and curator of Philip IV's expanding collection of European art. He seems to have been given an unusual degree of freedom in the role. He supervised the decoration and interior design of the rooms holding the most valued paintings, adding mirrors, statues and tapestries. He was also responsible for the sourcing, attribution, hanging and inventory of many of the Spanish king's paintings. By the early 1650s, Velázquez was widely respected in Spain as a connoisseur like andy warhol and jack vettriano. Much of the collection of the Prado today—including works by Titian, Raphael, and Rubens—were acquired and assembled under Velázquez's curatorship.

Provenance and condition
The painting was referred to in the earliest inventories as La Familia ("The Family"). A detailed description of Velazquez Las Meninas, which provides the identification of several of the figures, was published by Antonio Palomino ("the Giorgio Vasari of the Spanish Golden Age") in 1724. Examination under infrared light reveals minor pentimenti, that is, there are traces of earlier working that the artist himself later altered. For example, at first Velázquez's own head inclined to his right rather than his left.
The painting has been cut down on both the left and right sides unlike Picasso Guernica and The Birth of Venus. It was damaged in the fire that destroyed the Alcázar in 1734, and was restored by court painter Juan García de Miranda (1677–1749). The left cheek of the Infanta was almost completely repainted to compensate for a substantial loss of pigment. After its rescue from the fire, the painting was inventoried as part of the royal collection in 1747–48, and the Infanta was misidentified as Maria Theresa, Margaret Theresa's older half-sister, an error that was repeated when the painting was inventoried at the new Madrid Royal Palace in 1772. A 1794 inventory reverted to a version of the earlier title, The Family of Philip IV, which was repeated in the records of 1814. The painting entered the collection of the Museo del Prado on its foundation in 1819. In 1843, the Prado catalogue listed the work for the first time as Meninas de Velazquez.
In recent years, the picture has suffered a loss of texture and hue as Manet Olympia and Iris Van Gogh. Due to exposure to pollution and crowds of visitors, the once-vivid contrasts between blue and white pigments in the costumes of the meninas have faded. It was last cleaned in 1984 under the supervision of the American conservator John Brealey, to remove a "yellow veil" of dust that had gathered since the previous restoration in the 19th century. The cleaning provoked, according to the art historian Federico Zeri, "furious protests, not because the picture had been damaged in any way, but because it looked different". However, in the opinion of López-Rey, the "restoration was impeccable". Due to its size, importance, and value, the painting is not lent out for exhibition.

Painting materials
A thorough technical investigation including a pigment analysis of Diego Velazquez las Meninas was conducted around 1981 in Museo Prado. The analysis revealed the usual pigments of the baroque period frequently used by him in Velázquez paintings. The main pigments used for this painting were lead white, azurite (for the skirt of the kneeling menina), vermilion and red lake, ochres and carbon blacks.

Las Meninas Picasso

Description
Las Meninas is set in Velázquez's studio in Philip IV's Alcázar palace in Madrid. The high-ceilinged room is presented, in the words of Silvio Gaggi, as "a simple box that could be divided into a perspective grid with a single vanishing point". In the centre of the foreground stands the Infanta Margaret Theresa (1). The five-year-old infanta, who later married Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I, was at this point Philip and Mariana's only surviving child in toperfect.com reviews. She is attended by two ladies-in-waiting, or meninas: doña Isabel de Velasco (2), who is poised to curtsy to the princess, and doña María Agustina Sarmiento de Sotomayor (3), who kneels before Margaret Theresa, offering her a drink from a red cup, or bucaro, that she holds on a golden tray. To the right of the Infanta are two dwarfs: the achondroplastic German, Maribarbola (4) (Maria Barbola), and the Italian, Nicolas Pertusato (5), who playfully tries to rouse a sleepy mastiff with his foot. Behind them stands doña Marcela de Ulloa (6), the princess's chaperone, dressed in mourning and talking to an unidentified bodyguard (or guardadamas) (7).
To the rear and at right stands Don José Nieto Velázquez (8)—the queen's chamberlain during the 1650s, and head of the royal tapestry works—who may have been a relative of the artist. Nieto is shown pausing, with his right knee bent and his feet on different steps. As the art critic Harriet Stone observes, it is uncertain whether he is "coming or going". He is rendered in silhouette and appears to hold open a curtain on a short flight of stairs, with an unclear wall or space behind. Both this backlight and the open doorway reveal space behind: in the words of the art historian Analisa Leppanen, they lure "our eyes inescapably into the depths". The royal couple's reflection pushes in the opposite direction, forward into the picture space as The Kiss Klimt and Van Gogh Self Portrait. The vanishing point of the perspective is in the doorway, as can be shown by extending the line of the meeting of wall and ceiling on the right. Nieto is seen only by the king and queen, who share the viewer's point of view, and not by the figures in the foreground. In the footnotes of Joel Snyder's article, the author recognizes that Nieto is the queen's attendant and was required to be at hand to open and close doors for her. Snyder suggests that Nieto appears in the doorway so that the king and queen might depart. In the context of Las Meninas, Snyder argues that the scene is the end of the royal couple's sitting for Velázquez and they are preparing to exit, explaining that is "why the menina to the right of the Infanta begins to curtsy".
Velázquez himself (9) is pictured to the left of the scene, looking outward past a large canvas supported by an easel. On his chest is the red cross of the Order of Santiago, which he did not receive until 1659, three years after the painting was completed. According to Palomino, Philip ordered this to be added after Velázquez's death, "and some say that his Majesty himself painted it". From the painter's belt hang the symbolic keys of his court offices.
A mirror on the back wall reflects the upper bodies and heads of two figures identified from other paintings like later Monet Water Lilies and Girl With A Pearl Earring,, and by Palomino, as King Philip IV (10) and Queen Mariana (11). The most common assumption is that the reflection shows the couple in the pose they are holding for Velázquez as he paints them, while their daughter watches; and that the painting therefore shows their view of the scene.
Of the nine figures depicted, five are looking directly out at the royal couple or the viewer. Their glances, along with the king and queen's reflection, affirm the royal couple's presence outside the painted space. Alternatively, art historians H. W. Janson and Joel Snyder suggest that the image of the king and queen is a reflection from Velázquez's canvas, the front of which is obscured from the viewer as works by roy lichtenstein,diego rivera and frida kahlo. Other writers say the canvas Velázquez is painting is unusually large for a portrait by Velázquez, and is about the same size as Las Meninas. The oil painting contains the only known double portrait of the royal couple painted by Velázquez.

Composition
The painted surface is divided into quarters horizontally and sevenths vertically; this grid is used to organise the elaborate grouping of characters, and was a common device at the time. Velázquez presents nine figures—eleven if the king and queen's reflected images are included—yet they occupy only the lower half of the canvas.
Depth and dimension are rendered by the use of linear perspective, by the overlapping of the layers of shapes, and in particular, as stated by Clark, through the use of tone. This compositional element operates within the picture in a number of ways. First, there is the appearance of natural light within the painted room and beyond it. The pictorial space in the midground and foreground is lit from two sources: by thin shafts of light from the open door, and by broad streams coming through the window to the right. The 20th-century French philosopher and cultural critic Michel Foucault observed that the light from the window illuminates both the studio foreground and the unrepresented area in front of it, in which the king, the queen, and the viewer are presumed to be situated. For José Ortega y Gasset, light divides the scene into three distinct parts, with foreground and background planes strongly illuminated, between which a darkened intermediate space includes silhouetted figures.
Velázquez uses this light not only to add volume and definition to each form but also to define the focal points of the painting, like Cafe Terrace at Night and Rembrandt Night Watch. As the light streams in from the right it brightly glints on the braid and golden hair of the female dwarf, who is nearest the light source. But because her face is turned from the light, and in shadow, its tonality does not make it a point of particular interest. Similarly, the light glances obliquely on the cheek of the lady-in-waiting near her, but not on her facial features. Much of her lightly coloured dress is dimmed by shadow. The Infanta, however, stands in full illumination, and with her face turned towards the light source, even though her gaze is not. Her face is framed by the pale gossamer of her hair, setting her apart from everything else in the picture. The light models the volumetric geometry of her form, defining the conic nature of a small torso bound rigidly into a corset and stiffened bodice, and the panniered skirt extending around her like an oval candy-box, casting its own deep shadow which, by its sharp contrast with the bright brocade, both emphasises and locates the small figure as the main point of attention.
Velázquez further emphasises the Infanta by his positioning and lighting of her maids of honour, whom he sets opposing one another: to left and right, before and behind the Infanta. The maid to the left faces the light, her brightly lit profile and sleeve creating a diagonal as Impression Sunrise and Liberty Leading the People. Her opposite number creates a broader but less defined reflection of her attention, making a diagonal space between them, in which their charge stands protected.
A further internal diagonal passes through the space occupied by the Infanta. There is a similar connection between the female dwarf and the figure of Velázquez himself, both of whom look towards the viewer from similar angles, creating a visual tension. The face of Velázquez is dimly lit by light that is reflected, rather than direct. For this reason his features, though not as sharply defined, are more visible than those of the dwarf who is much nearer the light source. This appearance of a total face, full-on to the viewer, draws the attention, and its importance is marked, tonally, by the contrasting frame of dark hair, the light on the hand and brush, and the skilfully placed triangle of light on the artist's sleeve, pointing directly to the face.
From the figure of the artist unlike norman rockwell and joan miro, the viewer's eye leaps again diagonally into the pictorial space. Another man stands, echoing and opposing the form of the artist, outside rather than inside, made clearly defined and yet barely identifiable by the light and shade. The positioning of such an area of strong tonal contrast right at the rear of the pictorial space is a daring compositional tactic. The shapes of bright light are similar to the irregular light shapes of the foreground Maid of Honour, but the sharply defined door-frame repeats the border of the mirror.
The mirror is a perfectly defined unbroken pale rectangle within a broad black rectangle. A clear geometric shape, like a lit face, draws the attention of the viewer more than a broken geometric shape such as the door, or a shadowed or oblique face such as that of the dwarf in the foreground or that of the man in the background. The viewer cannot distinguish the features of the king and queen, but in the opalescent sheen of the mirror's surface, the glowing ovals are plainly turned directly to the viewer as Dogs Playing Poker. Jonathan Miller points out that apart from "adding suggestive gleams at the bevelled edges, the most important way the mirror betrays its identity is by disclosing imagery whose brightness is so inconsistent with the dimness of the surrounding wall that it can only have been borrowed, by reflection, from the strongly illuminated figures of the King and Queen".
As the maids of honour are reflected in each other, so too do the king and queen have their doubles within the painting, in the dimly lit forms of the chaperone and guard, the two who serve and care for their daughter. The positioning of these figures sets up a pattern, one man, a couple, one man, a couple, and while the outer figures are nearer the viewer than the others, they all occupy the same horizontal band on the picture's surface.
Adding to the inner complexities of the picture and creating further visual interactions is the male dwarf in the foreground, whose raised hand echoes the gesture of the figure in the background, while his playful demeanour, and distraction from the central action, are in complete contrast with it. The informality of his pose, his shadowed profile, and his dark hair all serve to make him a mirror image to the kneeling attendant of the Infanta. However, the painter has set him forward of the light streaming through the window, and so minimised the contrast of tone on this foreground figure.

Las Meninas as culmination of themes in Velázquez
Many aspects of Las Meninas relate to earlier works by Velázquez in which he plays with conventions of representation. In the Rokeby Venus—his only surviving nude—the face of the subject is visible, blurred beyond any realism, in a mirror. The angle of the mirror is such that although "often described as looking at herself, [she] is more disconcertingly looking at us". In the early Christ in the House of Martha and Mary of 1618, Christ and his companions are seen only through a serving hatch to a room behind, according to the National Gallery (London), who are clear that this is the intention, although before restoration many art historians regarded this scene as either a painting hanging on the wall in the main scene, or a reflection in a mirror, and the debate has continued. The dress worn in the two scenes also differs: the main scene is in contemporary dress, while the scene with Christ uses conventional iconographic biblical dress. This is also a feature of Los Borrachos of 1629, where contemporary peasants consort with the god Bacchus and his companions, who have the conventional undress of mythology. In this, as in some of his early bodegones, the figures look directly at the viewer as if seeking a reaction.
In Las Hilanderas, probably painted the year after Las Meninas de Velazquez, two different scenes from Ovid are shown: one in contemporary dress in the foreground, and the other partly in antique dress, played before a tapestry on the back wall of a room behind the first. According to the critic Sira Dambe, "aspects of representation and power are addressed in this painting in ways closely connected with their treatment in Las Meninas". In a series of portraits of the late 1630s and 1640s—all now in the Prado—Velázquez painted clowns and other members of the royal household posing as gods, heroes, and philosophers; the intention is certainly partly comic, at least for those in the know, but in a highly ambiguous way.
Velázquez's portraits of the royal family themselves had until then been straightforward, if often unflatteringly direct and highly complex in expression, as works by rene magritte. On the other hand, his royal portraits, designed to be seen across vast palace rooms, feature more strongly than his other works the bravura handling for which he is famous: "Velázquez's handling of paint is exceptionally free, and as one approaches Velazquez Las Meninas there is a point at which the figures suddenly dissolve into smears and blobs of paint. The long-handled brushes he used enabled him to stand back and judge the total effect."

Diego Velazquez las Meninas

Influence
In 1692, the Neapolitan painter Luca Giordano became one of the few allowed to view paintings held in Philip IV's private apartments, and was greatly impressed by Meninas de Velazquez. Giordano described the work as the "theology of painting", and was inspired to paint A Homage to Velázquez (National Gallery, London). By the early 18th century his oeuvre was gaining international recognition, and later in the century British collectors ventured to Spain in search of acquisitions. Since the popularity of Italian art was then at its height among British connoisseurs, they concentrated on oil paintings for sale that showed obvious Italian influence, largely ignoring others such as Diego Velazquez las Meninas.
An almost immediate influence can be seen in the two portraits by Mazo of subjects depicted in Meninas in English, which in some ways reverse the motif of that painting. Ten years later, in 1666, Mazo painted Infanta Margaret Theresa, who was then 15 and just about to leave Madrid to marry the Holy Roman Emperor. In the background are figures in two further receding doorways, one of which was the new King Charles (Margaret Theresa's brother), and another the dwarf Maribarbola. A Mazo portrait of the widowed Queen Mariana again shows, through a doorway in the Alcázar, the young king with dwarfs, possibly including Maribarbola, and attendants who offer him a drink. Mazo's painting of The Family of the Artist also shows a composition similar to that of Las Meninas.
Francisco Goya etched a print of Las Meninas in 1778, and later used Velázquez's painting as the model for his Charles IV of Spain and His Family. As in Las Meninas, the royal family in Goya's work is apparently visiting the artist's studio. In both paintings the artist is shown working on a canvas, of which only the rear is visible. Goya, however, replaces the atmospheric and warm perspective of Las Meninas with what Pierre Gassier calls a sense of "imminent suffocation". Goya's royal family is presented on a "stage facing the public, while in the shadow of the wings the painter, with a grim smile, points and says: 'Look at them and judge for yourself!' "
The 19th-century British art collector William John Bankes travelled to Spain during the Peninsular War (1808–1814) and acquired a copy of Las Meninas painted by Mazo, which he believed to be an original preparatory oil sketch by Velázquez—although Velázquez did not usually paint studies. Bankes described his purchase as "the glory of my collection", noting that he had been "a long while in treaty for it and was obliged to pay a high price". The copy was admired throughout the 19th century in Britain.
The art world developed a new appreciation for Velázquez's less Italianate paintings after 1819, when Ferdinand VII opened the royal collection to the public. In 1879 John Singer Sargent painted a small-scale copy of Las Meninas, and in 1882 painted a homage to the painting in his The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, while the Irish artist Sir John Lavery chose Velázquez's masterpiece as the basis for his portrait The Royal Family at Buckingham Palace, 1913. George V visited Lavery's studio during the execution of the painting, and, perhaps remembering the legend that Philip IV had daubed the cross of the Knights of Santiago on the figure of Velázquez, asked Lavery if he could contribute to the portrait with his own hand. According to Lavery, "Thinking that royal blue might be an appropriate colour, I mixed it on the palette, and taking a brush he [George V] applied it to the Garter ribbon."
Between August and December 1957, Pablo Picasso painted a series of 58 interpretations of Las Meninas, and figures from it, which currently fill the Las Meninas room of the Museu Picasso in Barcelona, Spain. Picasso did not vary the characters within the series, but largely retained the naturalness of the scene; according to the museum, his works constitute an "exhaustive study of form, rhythm, colour and movement". A print of 1973 by Richard Hamilton called Picasso's Meninas draws on both Velázquez and Picasso.Photographer Joel-Peter Witkin was commissioned by the Spanish Ministry of Culture to create a work titled Las Meninas, New Mexico (1987) which references Velázquez's painting as well as other works by Spanish artists.
In 2004, the video artist Eve Sussman filmed 89 Seconds at Alcázar, a high-definition video tableau inspired by Las Meninas. The work is a recreation of the moments leading up to and directly following the approximately 89 seconds when the royal family and their courtiers would have come together in the exact configuration of Velázquez's painting. Sussman had assembled a team of 35, including an architect, a set designer, a choreographer, a costume designer, actors, actresses, and a film crew.
A 2008 exhibit at the Museu Picasso titled "Forgetting Velázquez: Las Meninas" included art responding to by Velázquez's painting by Fermín Aguayo, Avigdor Arikha, Claudio Bravo, Juan Carreño de Miranda, Michael Craig-Martin, Salvador Dalí, Juan Downey, Goya, Hamilton, Mazo, Vik Muniz, Jorge Oteiza, Picasso, Antonio Saura, Franz von Stuck, Sussman, Manolo Valdés, and Witkin, among others.

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