All throughout his fruitful career, Velázquez painted the powerful just as well as the ordinary Spanish people. His body of work bears the imprint of realism worthy of the greatest Flemish masters of the period, and despite outside influences, he undeniably succeeded in developing his own artistic principles. Diego Velázquez (1599-1660) is one of the world’s most famous artists. Representative of 17th-century European painting, he worked for the Spanish court and for the most important personalities, completing numerous portraits. In addition to numerous renditions of scenes of historical and cultural significance, passionate about the human figure, his oeuvreofhis long artistic career of more than forty yearsalso encompasses representations of daily life in the taverns of Spain. Considered the father of Spanish painting, Velázquez inspired entire generations of artists who followed him, including Picasso, Dalí, and Bacon. His mysterious painting Las Meninas, which contains the essence of his work, is still today an inexhaustible source for writing and research.
Carl Justi (1832-1912) was an art history and philosophy professor at the University of Marburg. Specialist in Portuguese and Renaissance art, he published scores of books on influential personalities such as Winckelmann and Michelangelo. His biographical approach to art history was original and particularly innovative, as he preferred the use of psychology rather than art-historical movements to analyse the artists’ aims.
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