Diego Velázquez. (1599 – 1660). Infanta Marguerita Teresa in a Blue Dress. (1659). Baroque. 49 × 31 in. Oil on canvas. Painting-analysis.com. 10.feb.2015.
Hidden secrecies and the lesson of Velázquez.
Although recognized but forgotten, and neglected during 205 years, the work of Diego Velázquez is discover as from 1865 when Renoir and Manet make the voyage in Prado in Madrid to see its paintings. By doing this they discover and apprehend Velázquez in a new manner, with their eyes of impressionists. Manet declares that Velázquez is the : “painter of the painters” and : “the great painter who ever existed ”. Why? How? It is what we reveal you here. To declare that Velázquez is an impressionist pre painter or to find technical relationships between Velázquez and the French impressionists is a simple thing. Although it is not rigorously exact. To show why and how and to prove it is more complicated. It is a thing which the multi-media one can make. And it is what we will do here. Caution ! That nobody reverses the course of the history. When Velázquez, one year before its death, painted Marguerita Teresa in a Blue Dress it forever considering an impressionist work. In 1659 person cannot imagine that impressionism will exist one day.
Painter of the court of Spain, Velázquez represented several times Marguerita Theresa of Spain. She appears in the center in the famous painting the Ménines (1656) and in different painting Infanta Marguerita painted in 1659. Here the Infanta is 8 years old, its face is serious and solemn, certainly by timidity. Its eyes are gray blue. It tightens the right-hand man to show the decoration of its dress, its left hand holds a fur-lined coat chestnut. It is dress of a costume hypertrophied dark blue decorated with gold braidings, it carries a gold chain on the chest and above a pin. It is a traditional portrait baroque which does not present any difficulty for Velázquez, for a long time accustomed to this exercise.
The painter paints the child perfectly, with realism, but it will make clothing the true subject of its work and this in a completely revolutionary way. When Renoir and Manet in 1865 come to see the painting in Prado they see it closely. As you do not see it here. To see it meadows it is necessary to use the zoom and to look at clothing, the gallons of gold, gold the chain, the pin. On a bottom sinks and of the cold colours Velázquez adds multiple keys of yellow, of orange and of gilded to hang the light. Its small sharp and hot spots on a cold colour produce an impressionist effect, almost pointillist. Here what Renoir and Manet saw by looking at the work of meadows. Seen with the Zoom the clothing of Infanta is an impressionist painting 200 years before impressionism ! We found similar colours used in the same way in works of Monet and Van Gogh… For this reason Manet declares that Velázquez is the great painter who ever existed, because Velázquez, 200 years front, had a presentiment of and imagined Impressionism… Renoir and Manet see the painting of meadows in 1865, date on which Monet did not paint Impression Rising sun (1872) yet, painting which will give its name to the movement. The first exposure of the impressionist group proceeds in 1874. Thus in 1865, in front of Infanta Marguerita Teresa in Blue, Renoir and Manet discover the hidden secrecy of Velázquez and this painter missing for 205 years has thus given them an immense lesson of painting.
On Baroque the history of Art retains the Flemish painters : Rubens, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Italians like Caravage. The Spanish Baroque was neglected a long time. But what we indicate here watch that Velázquez has more influence in the history of the Art than many other painters baroques. Velázquez opens the door with modernity…
The point of view of the spectator is located in lower part of the face of the child. Intuitively the spectator understands quickly that the model is not the true subject of the painting and its glance goes down quickly to detail clothing.
The 4 natural points of interest are on clothing.
Clothing occupies more of the 2/3 of pictorial space.
The painting is a succession of horizontal. The only diagonal is the chain. The general Form is a triangle.
Like Velázquez, Monet uses small keys of hot colours on a cold bottom (blue), to represent the lights reflecting itself on water.
The prime coat of the dress of Infanta, even the places where there are no luminous points, resembles for impressionist purposes.
The way in which Velázquez treats the gallons gilded with the bottom of the dress and colours that it uses recall the key of Van Gogh in the Starly night on the Rhone. (1889).
The painting is enlightened of in bottom on the left.
The purpose of the yellow small keys, oranges, gilded are to represent the reflections of the light. Velázquez watches for the light effects like Boudin, Monet, Van Gogh 200 years later.
Harmonize and contrasts.
Contrast between hot and cold colours.
Contraste entre couleurs complémentaires.
Similar Painting :
Diego Velázquez. (1599 – 1660). The Prince Balthazar Carlos with Horse. Detail. (1635).
Diego Velázquez. (1599 – 1660). Portrait of the Dwarf Sebastián of Morra. (1645, Museum of Prado, Madrid).
Diego Velázquez. (1599 – 1660). Prince Philippe Prosper (1659).