slide school | velazquez

slide school is a bi-weekly education session (with myself ;) in which i attempt to remember bits and pieces i learned about specific artworks in my university art history classes. i get to peek at my notes, but not online. for more details about slide school - visit this post.

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*if you are doing some sort of school project and ended up here, please note i cannot guarantee that any of this information below is even remotely accurate!

title | velazquez
artist | las meninas (which i'm pretty sure in spanish means "the girls." which is a terrible title for a painting but also entirely accurate in this case.
date | golly me i have no idea - mid 1600's?
medium | oil paint
art historical period | i don't know - baroque?
three facts | i actually really like this work - i'm not sure why as i try not to like artwork that is suuuuper popular for no reason but this one is kind of special. i remember that it was entirely unique at this time to have the painter put himself into what was supposed to be a portrait of nobility girls. the artist has painted the piece from the perspective of the parents (a king and queen?) - you can see them reflected in the mirror at the back. the little girl with the unique face is there for one of two reasons, i can't remember which. i recall something about children who looked like this (i.e. with down's syndrome) being hired as somewhat of a "play toy" for royal children. or, this is actually a playmate of the blonde child in the centre, but her looks were quite common because of all the family members who continued to marry each other and reproduce in order to maintain a royal bloodline. my notes tell me that diego is one of the very first to play with impressionism rather than capturing absolute form...but you have to see close ups to note this. 

i'm really excited this week to go read more about the work and see how right/wrong i am - i know that this painting is tightly packed with various meanings. 

title | las meninas
artist | diego velázquez
date | 1656
medium | oil on canvas
art historical period | wow...i'm right! "baroque...[but] a model for realist and impressionist painters.
* update: aha - here is what i learned/remembered. the artist is supposedly painting the king and queen who are just about to finish their sitting. it's ironic see? because he's painting them...but he didn't really, he painting the scene with the little girls who are in the room for the parents sitting.


  1. Anonymous17.6.12

    Your slide school is such a great idea!! I've been thinking about how much I've forgotten about the art history I learnt a few years ago. Inspired :)

    1. yay i'm so glad you like slide school - you sound like the perfect reader for it :) i do a post like this every other saturday

  2. Art history was one of my absolute favorite classes in college! I'm sad to say that I've forgotten so many pieces and artists. :( I'm mesmerized by this painting, and I always thought the little girl was so eye catching, even when I was little. Such a great post!


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