Velazquez, Painter for the Throne

Velazquez was a mysterious figure who rarely signed his work and produced less than 200 paintings, yet, his unique skills with the brush have inspired artists for centuries, including: Picasso, Manet, Francis Bacon, and Chuck Close.

Velázquez’s life was filled with intrigue. Even under the pressure of the Spanish Inquisition, Velázquez broke with convention, not only with his subject matter but with his radical style of painting. He painted not only kings and queens, but buffoons and jesters, as well as some of the first plein-air paintings. His portraits rival Rembrandt for their skill and exploration of the soul.

With dreams of knighthood, Velázquez hid a deep secret that could have brought the wrath of the inquisitors upon him. What was that secret? We will explore this question as we look at this unparalleled painter’s life and work.