Introduction: Velazquez (00:35)
Many consider Velazquez the greatest portrait painter. His realism transformed painting.
Velazquez's Background (02:17)
Velazquez was born in Spain in 1599. At the age of 11, he apprenticed for a local painter. "The Water Seller of Seville" is Velazquez's first great painting.
Portrait of a King (02:08)
The Count Duke Olivares arranged for Velazquez to paint King Philip's portrait. His portraits redefined the royal image.
Court Painter (01:51)
Velazquez had a private studio at court; his preferential treatment encouraged jealousy. King Philip held a competition for a painting of Philip III expelling the Moors; Velazquez won.
"Forge of Vulcan" (02:08)
Velazquez saw Rubens as a role model. He left for Italy to broaden his artistic knowledge; "The Forge of Vulcan" reflects this influence.
"Surrender of Breda" (02:20)
"Surrender of Breda" presents a chivalrous image of Catholic Spain's moral superiority.
King's Court (01:59)
Velazquez painted the dwarfs and buffoons of King Philips court. In the 1640s, Spain's empire began declining. King Philip sent Velazquez to Italy to purchase art.
"Juan de Pareja" (02:30)
Velazquez painted his assistant, Juan de Pareja. An expert discusses Velazquez's use of color.
"Pope Innocent X" (01:11)
Velazquez depicted Pope Innocent X as irritable. An expert discusses Velazquez's use of color
Velazquez's Status (02:23)
Velazquez's elevated position in King Philip's court marked a break from the lowly status of artists in Spain.
"Las Maninas" (03:05)
At the age of 57, Velazquez painted Philip IV's royal family; everybody looks startled.
Velazquez's Legacy (00:35)
At the age of 61, Velazquez became ill and died August 6, 1660. He ensured that artists in Spain were not perceived as mere artisans and that art could be more than propaganda.
Credits: Velazquez: Great Artists (Series 1) (00:27)
Credits: Velazquez: Great Artists (Series 1)
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