“By age 30, Édouard Manet had gained recognition at the state-sponsored Salon exhibition in Paris and established himself as the artist to watch, creating new imagery for contemporary works that translated Old Master painting into a modern idiom. Here he looked to the 17th-century Baroque artist Diego Velázquez, whose two paintings of world-weary philosophers (Aesop and Menippus, both c. 1638) Manet had admired that year at the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain. Like Velázquez’s representation of the ancient stoics (whose poverty is associated with wisdom), Manet’s beggar-philosophers fit into the popular notion of the social outcast as a seer possessing rare insight.”
Francisco de Zurbarán, Saint Luke as a Painter before Christ on the Cross (c. 1630-9). The figure of Luke is possibly a self-portrait of the artist, an attribute that creates an added layer of meaning for this painting.
“Daughter of an Arab king, Casilda was martyred in 1087. She had left the Islamic faith and converted to Christianity, taking food to her father’s Christian prisoners. Surprised by her father during one of these risky visits, a miracle occurred and the food hidden about her body was transformed into roses, the traditional attribute of this saint.”
Mater Dolorosa (Sorrowful Mother), c. 1760-80
Attributed to Francisco Salzillo y Alcaraz (Spanish, 1707-1783)
Polychrome wood, human hair wig and eyelashes, glass, crystal, fabric, and other media Dayton Art Institute, United States
The subject of this wood sculpture is the sorrowful mother of Jesus, distraught at the loss of her crucified son. The silver dagger piercing her heart refers to the prophecy of Simeon, “This child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and as a sign that will be contradicted so that the thoughts of many will be revealed. And you yourself a sword will pierce” (Luke 2:34-35).x
Édouard Manet’s letters to his friend and fellow artist Fantin-Latour, and to his admired friend Charles Baudelaire …in which he expressed his feelings after his first meeting with Diego Velázquez’s art in the Spanish Museo del Prado (September 1, 1865).
* Excerpt: “At last, my dear Baudelaire, I’ve really come to know Velázquez, and I tell you he’s the greatest artist has ever been; I saw 30 or 40 of his canvases in Madrid, portraits and other things, all masterpieces; he’s greater tan his reputation and compensates all by himsef for the fatigue and problems that are inevitable on a journey in Spain.”
In 1848 Millais was one of the founder members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood along with Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt. After his unfamous and rejected Academy ‘Diploma’ work, 'The Parable of the Tares’ (1865), Millais instead presented a painting with less troubling subject matter, 'A Souvenir of Velazquez’. Here, the expressionistic brushwork and broad colouring contrasts with the restrained naturalism of his earlier Pre-Raphaelite paintings. This work was inspired by Velázquez’s mid-17th-century portraits of the Spanish Infanta Margarita. Throughout his career Millais painted children to provoke meditations on transience, beauty and truth. By the late 1860’s, this painterly concern with mood and memory corresponded with the ideals of the emerging Aesthetic movement. (read more)
The Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna openend to the public in 1891. Hans Makart (1840–84) had originally been commissioned to execute the painting for the ceiling as well as fanlight, spandrel, and intercolumnar areas as part of the interior decorations in the main staircase of the new built museum. The contract was signed in February 1881; in the same year an imperial delegation was able to view the artist’s initial sketches. Shortly before his death, Makart had completed the fanlight paintings depicting “classical heroes of painting” and their “favourite materials”. Like Rembrandt in the fanlight opposite, Velázquez is portrayed in a medallion, thus forming a compositional pendant to the former. Makart drew his inspiration from Velázquez’s self-portrait (1643) in the Uffizi in Florence. // Gustav Klimt, his younger brother Ernst, and Franz Matsch executed forty paintings to decorate the spaces between the columns and above the arcades along the walls of the KHM’s main staircase. Personifications – either male and female, or female only – symbolize different stylistic periods, regions or centers of art. All paintings were executed in oil on canvas in the Artists’ studio; in 1891, six months before the formal opening of the museum, they were glued to the walls of the main staircase. A page in the costume of the Age of Phillip IV evokes Velázquez and Murillo. The figure casts an admiring glance toward a lady holding a fan and attired in the “dress of people of elegance, as familiar from the portraits of Anthony van Dyck” (1599–1641).