June 6, 2017
Mariano Fortuny, Seville, c.1850, etching, 2 x 3 5/8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchase/gift of the Mahonri M. Young Estate.
On this day in 1599, Spanish artist of the Spanish Golden Age Diego Velázquez was born in Seville, Spain. Velázquez is well-known for his work as the court painter for King Phillip IV of Spain, producing many works of court life and of the royal family. The most famous of these is his masterpiece Las Meninas, housed in the Prado Museum in Madrid.
Diego Velázquez showed an early interest and aptitude for art, apprenticing under local artists as a young man. He became well-known in his area and traveled to Madrid, where he made useful connections that allowed him to meet and paint King Phillip IV, who, shortly thereafter, gave him employment as the court painter. Velázquez painted portraits and scenes of royalty for decades thereafter, until his death in 1660. Velázquez’s work has been very influential for centuries, with many artists using his works as studies or recreating them in new styles.
Today’s Artwork of the Day by Mariano Fortuny depicts a street scene in Seville, Velázquez’s birthplace.