As you may know, Madrid has a deep culture and artistic heritage. This can be admired in their museums, especially in those of the Golden Triangle of Art: Prado Museum, Reina Sofia Museum and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. In fact, many tourists arrive at the capital of Spain attracted by a single painter.The works by Velazquez are considered to be one of the main Madrid attractions. If you want to know what to do in Madrid to discover them, just read this article.
Diego de Velazquez is, in fact, tightly related to Madrid. He was born in Seville, but he began work in the capital of the Spanish Empire in 1631.Moreover, in 1651 he became official painter for King Philip IV. Velazquez died in Madrid and was supposed to be buried in the cemetery of old Santiago church, but that has disappeared. In our Austrias Tour, you will be able to discover the exact place where experts think he may be laid.
The best place to see the paintings by Velazquez is, of course, the Prado Museum. This institution usually commissions temporary exhibitions about his style and his life, but his works are always present in the permanent collection, which you can also visit with our Prado Museum Tour.
Velazquez, a Madrid attraction in Prado’s permanent collection
Many paintings by Velazquez are Madrid attractions in and of themselves. In fact, his masterpieces attract visitors from around the world. The most famous one is probably Las Meninas, officially called The family of King Philip IV. It is considered to be one of the best paintings in history because it shows a complex structure of perspectives and points of view. It establishes a relationship with the spectator, something that it didn’t occur before. The painting is a collective portrait of the Maids of Honour. They are actually staring at the spectators, who are located right where the ‘real’ portrayed must be. Velazquez also takes advantage of the situation to surprise us with a self-portrait and a portrait of the Kings in the distant mirror.
The Prado Museum which hosts dozens of Velazquez works, there is one painting that is also worth mentioning and that is The Surrender of Breda. This is a scene that talks about a battle which took place in the Netherlander city. The lances stand out in this composition to give this painting passion and power.
The portraits that Velazquez painted are also admired not only by art fans, but by professional painters alike. In fact, as the French celebrity Manet said, he is “painter of painters” His brush immortalized Philip IV and his family many times, as well as other Court workers, including the jesters.
Paintings such as Los Borrachos (aka The Triumph of Bacchus), Apollo in the Forge of Vulcan and Las Hilanderas are works that belong to his youth period and are a must see if you want to discover the mastery of the painter. All of these are found within the Prado Museum. .
Although Velazquez is now considered to be one of the masters in the History of Art and is one of the Madrid attractions, his fame didn’t arrive until the mid 19th century, when impressionists knew his career. Find out why they became enamoured by it and enjoy this genius of humanity.