Google doodle honors artist

Today Google published a doodle based upon Spanish artist Diego Velázquez’s painting Las Meninas (Spanish for The Maids of Honor).  

Diego Velázquez (1599–1660) has long been one of my favorite artists. Las Meninas is a 1656 painting by Velázquez and probably his most admired artwork.  Mysterious & compelling, there’s been much debate over its significance. At the center stands the little infant Margarita Teresa, daughter of King Philip IV of Spain and his wife Mariana of Austria.  Their faces peer from the dark mirror hung at the far end of the room. The viewer’s attention is drawn to the figures in the foreground and to the maids of honor (las meninas) but above all the the sunlit figure of Margarita Teresa. In the right corner are two dwarfs.

Las Meninas by Diego Velázquez, 1656. Oil on canvas, 318 × 276 cm, 125.2 × 108.7 in.  Museo del Prado, Madrid

How brilliantly Velázquez represents to us the feel of the setting. The artist gives the painted image a vivid and immediate sense of life through his skillful use of color, light, composition, and the sheer facility of his draftsmanship. The sunlight from the open window makes the figures sparkle with luminosity. Velázquez himself stands on the left with brush and palette, ready to paint (quite a large canvas!). Velazquez, Margarita Teresa, one of the maids of honor, and the chubby female dwarf all appear to look at the viewer (probably King Philip and his wife Mariana, as reflected in the mirror).

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was “the painter of the painters”, according to Édouard Manet

Related links:
Doodle extravaganza  from MadSilence
Google Honour the Birth of Diego Velázquez
Diego Velázquez – Google doodle


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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Canadian Investor Within
    Jun 07, 2008 @ 12:44:25

    I was wondering who Diego Velázquez today once I saw the google banner.
    I meant to look it up but got caught up in other stuff. So this post just made my day :)
    Its a beautiful painting


  2. leafless
    Jun 10, 2008 @ 02:04:08

    The guy is quite a painter. My art professor spent several lectures on Diego Velázquez’s bio and style. It was sometime ago, but I’m still remember it well.


  3. szoutewelle
    Jun 13, 2008 @ 01:33:28

    Dear ms, this is strange, it is the second time in 24 hours that I’ve run across reference to this painting. The first time was here –
    I got turned on to Duane Keiser’s work through the You Tube videos of his little painting-a-day oils. They are gems. And he is also the acknowledged instigator of this a painting a day trend. Anyway, he recently went on a pilgimage to see’Las Meninas’, thought you might be interested. Cheers, sarah


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