Sunday, 7 March 2010

Las Meninas

Velasquez's 'Las Meninas' - one of the greatest paintings ever?

I know it's crazy to suggest such a thing, but having sat in front of it in the Prado, Madrid, for a couple of hours, I sort of came away with the feeling that it possibly is.

It has everything, as far as I am concerned, and it is big - bigger than the Alma Tadema mentioned earlier.

What do you think?


  1. Now you're talking! Obviously it's difficult to have a 'greatest ever' of anything, but let's say it HAS to be in the 'Top Ten'. One of it's great qualities being that one sees a different picture every time. It never fails to fascinate. Excellent choice Tom, and well done Velasquez.

  2. To me, one of the (many) astounding things about Velazquez, is that his portraiture is not only staggeringly good, formal painting, but it takes you immediately into the heart and psyche of the subject, as if you were sitting in front of him/her, having had a very intimate, confessional conversation with them. When you consider that these feats were carried out under Royal and Papal patronage, it becomes more astounding. King Philip actually begged him to stay at court, evidently.

    You can actually see the resentment and resignation of the court dwarves and clowns, and he allows you to see into the very soul of the Pope. It does not matter that the old man appears to have no feet at all.

  3. I love it more each time I see it and I hope we are all in position of some the talent it takes to create something as beautiful in our own capacity.
    Warm regards,

  4. I hope so too, Simone, but I think Velasquezs' are pretty rare. Maybe that's what you meant by 'in our own capacity'?

  5. Having just said the above, it occurred to me that I would rather hope that we are all in a position to appreciate someone like Valasquez, but even that's a bit much to ask, given the state of Art Education these days.

    I am in the fortunate/unfortunate position of observing the decline of Art Education at close-quarters, as her indoors is a teacher. I'll be putting up a (very personal) post about them shortly.

  6. Love it - and have just whiled away a happy hour looking for the Alma-T to which you refer. Didn't find the AT and will now be late for work but thanks anyway!

  7. I'll put up a temporary post with a picture of it - if I can find it, Ticky.