Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Goya and Velázquez

 From ArtNet:

If Goya’s veneration of Velázquez, noted by his son in an early biography of the artist, began with the close study essential to translating painting into etching, other works soon betrayed the master’s influence. Velázquez lurks behind The Blind Guitarist, a large tapestry cartoon delivered to the factory three months before the first etchings were offered for sale. Intended as an introduction to the diverse characters at the annual fair of Madrid, it presents them gathered to listen to a blind man singing a ballad of recent news. Young women, a stylishly dressed foreigner with hand in waistcoat, two women in working-class dress, and two boys stand out in front of a crowd of men wrapped in their brown capes; behind them, a man on horseback has stopped to listen. Subtle highlights distinguish the faces of the men in the crowd, but the contours of their capes fall into shadow, as Goya had emulated the somber tones within shadow of Velázquez’s Triumph of Bacchus. Behind the crowd and silhouetted against the sky, the rider’s broadly painted face, with one side illuminated and the other in shadow, pays tribute to the figure standing in the background doorway of Las Meninas. (Read more.)


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