Diego Velazquez was born in 1599 and studied painting in the studio of Francisco Pacheco , his future father-in-law and biographer. His early art works are realistic pictures of the interiors of kitchens, musi-cians and drinkers which show the influence of Caravaggio and Flemish painting, with its particular attention to the representation of reflections. In 1617 he was enrolled in the Sevillian guild of painters and in 1622 he made a journey to Madrid, to study the royal collections and probably to try to get himself received at court, where Philip IV had recently ascended the throne. On his second visit to Madrid, in 1623, he was permitted to paint the king's portrait, the first in a long series: from this moment on the artist remained at court, holding in-creasingly important and well-paid posts over the years and devoting himself principally to portraits of the rul-ing class. In 1628 Velazquez had the honor of receiving Rubens, at the height of his fame: it may have been as a result of this contact that he decided to visit Italy. He set off the following year landing at Genoa and visiting Milan, Parma, Venice (where he admired the oil paintings of Titian), Ferrara, Cento, Loreto and finally arriving in Rome, where he stayed for a year. It was 1630, the time of the explosion of the Roman baroque, but also active in the city were the bamboccianti, painters of popular art subjects, and the exponents of classicism Domenichino and Poussin. Passing through Naples, he returned to Madrid. With the transfer of many functions to the new roy-al residence of the Buen Retiro, work commenced on the renovation of the old royal palace, the Alcazar. It was partly to get hold of works of art and artists for the decoration of the Alcazar that Velazquez undertook his sec-ond journey to Italy, in the train of the legation sent to Trent to receive Marianna of Austria, the king's new bride. Back in Rome, he painted portraits of Pope Innocent X and various personages of his court. He also supervised the works at the Escorial, Notwithstanding the commitments that distracted him from the work of painting, which he often delegated to his son-in-law, these were the years in which he produced his masterpieces, Las Hilanderas (The Spinners) and Las Meninas (The Maids of Honor) . In 1659, thanks to a papal dispensation, Velazquez received the Order of Santiago (A Knight of the Order of Santiago) , an honor usually reserved for the nobility: a knight not by birth, but in virtue of his art. In 1660 he went to Fuenterrabia to prepare the royal residence for the marriage of the Infanta Maria Teresa to Louis XIV, setting the seal on peace with France. He then returned to Madrid where, just over a month later, he fell ill and died. The artist, solemnly buried in the robes of a Knight of Santiago, left a great void at court and the sor-rowing king wrote two words in a trembling hand: "Quedo adbatido," I am crushed.
Velazquez(In total:120 paintings)