We observed an oil on canvas large format representing a scene in an interior room. In particular it is the painting Las Meninas conducted in 1656 by the great master of Spanish Baroque painting Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez, one of the masterpieces of art history of painting.
Description: The foreground characters are arranged in two groups of three. At the central level highlights the Infanta Margarita (1) (daughter of Philip IV and his second wife Mariana of Austria), accompanied by her meninas, or ladies in waiting: María Agustina Sarmiento (2) that gives you a vase of water in a dish gold, and Isabel de Velasco (3), which is inclined with a bow. To the right of the viewer is another triad of characters, consisting of the dwarf macrocephalic Mariabárbola (4), the dwarf Nicolasito Pertusato (5) and a mastiff breed dog lying in the foreground. In the background talking, half-hidden in the dark, the maid of honor Marcela de Ulloa (6) and Diego Ruiz guardadamas Ascona (7). At the other end and behind a large painting stands the figure of Velázquez own (self), who with one hand holding the brush and palette in the other. In the background, in a last plane, the man who climbs the rungs of a ladder and a curtain is Jose Nieto, chamberlain of the court. On the wall stands a mirror in which are reflected the busts of kings Philip IV and Mariana of Austria and over this mitolólgicos two large paintings, prints, John B. del Mazo, Rubens, Pallas and Arachne, and Jordaens, Apollo and Marsyas. Light: the painter was recreated in light effects. The scene is illuminated by right and by the back door. Thus the light falling on the foreground figures and plunges into the darkness to which they are further away. This play of light and shadows helps create the illusion of space in the box. The light coming through the back door and its contrast with the dark roof and side wall to the right of the observer give depth to the scene. The palette: it is clear, bright, rich colors and hues. Silver tones predominate dresses, while our attention the rhythm of the notes of red spread across the canvas: the Cross of Santiago, the colors of the palette of Velasquez, the vase, the handkerchief Infanta Isabel de Velasco, ending in the red suit of Nicolasillo. The stroke: it is long, smooth and visible. Velazquez works every single detail of dress and ornaments strokes based pasture, which anticipate the Impressionist painting. The outlines of the figures are blurred. The ethereal forms of kings in the mirror were done with a brush dipped in turpentine more pigment. Meaning: Most critics consider this table as the fundamental work of Velazquez, his artistic testament. Others equate it with The Spinners. Never mind. This is undoubtedly the synthesis and summary of the work of a lifetime. Opinions on what is Velazquez painting in this table are very diverse.
Influences: the great masters of the past (making the use of the mirror in Van Eyck's Arnolfini Marriage) and his time. In the past highlights the treatment of light in Caravaggio and the arrangement of the characters at different levels recalls the interior scenes painted in the Netherlands (Vermeer van Delft).
Consistent: Goya was inspired by Las Meninas to paint the Family of Charles IV and the Impressionists were enthusiastic about his painting technique to the point that Manet is Velasquez said the painter of painters. Other artists have been inspired by this work as Picasso, The Chronicle Team Composition: The scene takes place in a room (in the gallery of the Fourth Prince) of the defunct castle of the Habsburgs. The figures occupy only the lower half of the table, while the upper half is filled by a roof lintels with two hooks for lamps. Velazquez perfectly mastered aerial perspective so that the loose brushwork and sketchy treatment of the figures provides a greater sense of capturing the atmosphere and environment. The space game is very important in this work. The scene is taken from a corner of the room is closed to the right with the foreshortening of a wall. To the left another plane diagonal, the mysterious canvas that paints the Sevillano, leaving the figures in a second term and short them obliquely in space, as in Flanders used to make Vermeer van Delft filed with curtains and doors, but here the canvas has a dual meaning. At bottom, the mirror and the door, we suggest new areas unknown and Butler seems to want to enter - or exit? - In the box. Finally, the dog, as in the box Spears the horse steps forward boldly to the central theme, but only very apparent as we shall see. For light and air are the undisputed protagonists of Las Meninas.'s Perspective: what is really impacting us in this work is the atmospheric sensation created by the painter, the so-called aerial perspective, which gives depth to the scene through the air surrounds each of the characters and blurs their contours, especially the figures of the fund, which are on some profiles more vague and less intense colors. Also interesting is the way to achieve the spatial effect, creating the feeling that the room is continued into the canvas, as if the characters share the space with the audience. The foreground is filled with a powerful source of light coming from the front window on the right. The princess is the center of the group and seems to float, and we do not see her feet, hidden in the shadow of his guardainfante. The background figures are in dim light, while at the bottom we find a new source of light, impacting on the chamberlain who cut his silhouette on the stairs.