Velazquez Painted Air

“Speaking of Velazquez they always say he painted the air, the atmosphere, and so on. I don’t much believe in any of that nor have I ever seen that what people mean by such expressions is clarified. The air effect of his figures is owing simply to that felicitous indecision of profile and surface he leaves them in. To his contemporaries it seemed that they were “not quite finished” and that is why Velazquez wasn’t popular in his time. He had made the most unpopular discovery: that reality differs from myth in that it is never finished.”

J. Ortega y Gasset, Spanish philosopher

Las Meninas, the huge picture in which Velazquez supposedly painted the air. (Click twice on thumbnail to enlarge)

Velazquez’s Meninas

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This entry was posted in art, art history, great artists, oil painting, Velazquez. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Velazquez Painted Air

  1. Ion Danu says:

    G, exactly the SAME reproach, that his paintings “weren’t finished” was made to El Greco! He, even more than Velasquez (who was King’s personal painter still…) suffered because of this “unfinished” business… And led a life poorer and harder than Velasquez… They are both great, however…

  2. Ion Danu says:

    G, exactly the SAME reproach, that his paintings “weren’t finished” was made to El Greco! He, even more than Velasquez (who was King’s personal painter still…) suffered because of this “unfinished” business… And led a life poorer and harder than Velasquez… They are both great, however…

    And I looked at the painting…

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