Monday, March 17, 2014

Nod to Velázquez

Antipodean family portrait
Constructed paintings take time and make you appreciate the talent of the masters. I have been working on this family portrait for some time, adding figures and changing them, starting in acrylic, finishing in oils. Now I think it is finished.

The Spanish baroque painter Diego Velázquez painted a lot of portraits but also had a talent for such constructed  paintings. My portrait is a nod to his painting Las Meninas ((below) which is a complicated work and a favorite of art scholars.  Somehow Las Meninas (The Maids) sticks in your memory once you have seen it. I had not consciously carried it with me, but when I thought of painting a family portrait, Las Meninas immediately came to mind. 

So this is my Australian 21st century version, with elements of the 1950s and bright antipodean light.

Las Meninas has had whole books written on it through history and still today there is a running commentary, like this interesting piece in the Guardian newspaper. Just look at the size of the canvas that the artist is working on. It is about the size of Las Meninas which is 3 x 2.6 meters.
La Meninas by Diego Valázquez

 Other painters have also been fascinated by this Valázquez painting.

Pablo Picasso made a series of 58 paintings analysing Las Meninas which he donated to the museum in BarcelonaBelow is one of his versions, painted in 1957.
PabloPicasso Meninas.jpg
Las Meninas by Pablo Picasso

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