Enthusiasms

Containing whatever I enthuse over

Velazquez Exhibtion

Posted by clissold345 on November 30, 2006

The Velazquez exhibition is on in London until 21 January 2007. The best time to go (that is, the quietest time) is probably toward the end of the day. In a given room there’s usually at least one picture with few people looking at it, so (ignoring the catalogue numbering) I look at that picture first. I look at that picture with all the concentration I have, walk round the middle of the room a few times to rest my eyes, and then decide on my next picture. If I like a picture I sometimes look at it from the left, from the right, from near and from far.

In paintings of the 1630s and later Velazquez sometimes paints fabrics with what seem flicks (or flickers) of paint. The flicks of paint don’t attempt to be an exact representation of the fabric, but on the other hand they never become arbitrary or casual. The fabrics are sometimes contrasted with the machined lines of armour or stirrup or sword. For example, in the picture of Guzman on horseback (from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York):

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