Archive | February, 2011

Valazquez’s “Las Meninas”

25 Feb

Velazquez's "Las Meninas"


Las Meninas (meaning The Maids of Honour in English) is an oil painting that was done by Diego Valazquez. In 1656, it was created in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain. Diego Velazquez was the leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age.

Close up on mirror

 The painting shows a large room in the Madrid palace of King Philip IV of Spain. There are several characters in the painting. Some seem to be looking out of the canvas and towards the viewer, while other characters are interacting with each other. In the center of the painting is Infanta Margarita (aughter of King Philip IV of Spain). She is surrounded by her bodyguard, her maids of honor, her chaperone, two dwarfs and a dog. On the left side of the painting Valazquez portrayed himself working on a very large canvas.

Ruben's "Minerve Punishing Arachne"

In the background there is a mirror on wall with a mirror on it that shows the upper half of the bodies of the king and queen. It is as if we are seeing the scene as the king and queen would be seeing it. It has been thought that the large canvas that Valazquez is paint on in Las Meninas is a portrait of the king and queen, and the image he is painting is what is reflected into mirror.

Ruben's "Apollo’s Victory over Marsyas"

The two portraits on the back wall are thought to be oil sketches by Peter Paul Rubens: Minerve Punishing Arachne (left) and Apollo’s Victory over Marsyas (right). I found this work appealing because I enjoy how royalty dressed and lived during this time period. I find it to be incredibly beautiful and interesting. The thought and detail that went into the painting is incredible.

Work Cited

Rubens, Peter “Apollo’s Victory over Marsyas.” Home Page. Web. 25 Feb. 2011.

Rubens, Peter “Minerve Punishing Arachne.” Home Page. Web. 25 Feb. 2011.

Velazquez, Diego. Las Meninas. 1656. Museo Del Prado, Madrid. Monster Geek in London., 4 Dec. 2010. Web. 25 Feb. 2011.

“Velázquez’s Las Meninas.” Home Page. Web. 25 Feb. 2011.


Botticelli’s “Primavera”

12 Feb

Primavera, known also as Allegory of Spring, is a painting by Sandro Botticelli that was created during the Italian Renaissance in the year of 1482, in Uffizi, Florence. This painting is a group of mythological figures in a garden. It depicts the figure Mercury on the far left of the painting. He is blowing the winter clouds out of the way to let the spring cloud come through. The character above Venus (in the center) is Cupid. On the far right of the painting is Flora. This shows the story of when Flora’s former self, Chloris, was in the woods and the wind god, Zephyr, raped her. In order to prove that he was sorry, Zephyr married Chloris, this is when she became Flora, the goddess of flowers (as you can see by the flowers escaping from her mouth). The plants the surround Venus prove that she is fertile. The Three Graces, standing the left of Venus, symbolize that she desires marriage and is child bearing. The oranges in the painting represent love. This connects to the Medici family, as there was an orange grove on the family estate. Not a lot of the history of this painting is known, but it was commissioned by a member of the Medici family. The article “Paintings by Sandro Botticelli”, states that, “Botticelli chose to center his mythology work on what the Medici family requested, especially the younger generation” (Rymer). The painting hung in a bedroom of the Medici family member. This painting is gorgeous. The figures in it catch my attention along with the color choice. The details from the small flowers to the wrinkles in the clothing are outstanding and beautiful. This painting is definitely one of my favorites out of all Italian Renaissance and Northern Renaissance visual artwork.

Works Cited

Botticelli, Sandro. Primavera. 1482. Uffizi, Florence. Wikipedia. MediaWiki, 26 Apr. 2010. Web. 12 Feb. 2011.

Rymer, Eric. “Paintings by Sandro Botticelli.” World History by History Link 101. Web. 12 Feb. 2011.    htm.