Uncertainty velazquez

Solo disponible en BuenasTareas
  • Páginas : 12 (2932 palabras )
  • Descarga(s) : 0
  • Publicado : 25 de abril de 2011
Leer documento completo
Vista previa del texto
In a time of political crisis, art offered a means of grounding the self in certainty. Analyse the work of Velázquez in light of this comment.

The Spanish Baroque, a period of flourishing in arts and literature in Spain, coincided with the political rise and fall of the Spanish Habsburg dynasty. As a result, art was extremely responsive to a multitude of social, religious and political forcesat the time. Under Habsburg rule, Spain reached the height of its influence and power, controlling territory ranging from the Americas, to the East Indies in Asia, in addition to the Low Countries, Portugal, and various other smaller territories. For well over a century, Habsburg Spain was the world’s greatest power. However, seventeenth century Baroque Spain, in contrast to Renaissance Spain,suffered a series of debilitating problems which led to the demise of the Spanish Empire. The Spanish Monarchy used art as a method of propaganda to conceal the destitute state of the country, which can be seen in the work of Velázquez. Furthermore, he utilizes his own work to elevate and exhibit his social status, as well as to differentiate between the status of an artist and a craftsman.Moreover, his work relates to the general public on a wider level when he suggests religion as a means of dealing with the period of political uncertainty. Therefore, it is evident that art offered a means of grounding the self in certainty in a time of political crisis, which will be examined in relation to three of Velázquez’s works: Christ in the House of Mary and Martha, Las Meninas, and LasHilanderas.
The Baroque period was a time of absolute monarchy, when the ruler employed ultimate governing authority as head of state and government in order to gain complete political power over the sovereign state and its people. Philip IV came to power at a time of political uncertainty, since Spain suffered from demographic recession and dislocation, repeated epidemics, crop failures, industrialstagnation, and high taxation as a result of continual warfare. All of these factors contributed to the decline of Spain, which has become emblematic of Philip IV’s reign. Despite the weakening of the monarchy and of the political situation during Philip IV’s reign, Las Meninas by Velázquez effectively conveys the authority of the Spanish Court at the time, and masks any indication of politicalcrisis. The power of the Spanish Court is illustrated within this painting, since Velázquez draws attention to, and focuses upon the presence of the Spanish monarchy, King Philip IV and Queen Mariana of Austria. Velázquez achieves this primarily through Baroque illusionism in Las Meninas. As stated by Brown, by recreating the appearance of a room on a large scale whilst paying great attention to thecontrol of light and shadow, Velázquez is able to blur the boundaries between art and reality. Therefore, this technique is used in Las Meninas to make the allusive presence of the Spanish King and Queen as realistic as possible. Velázquez includes their presence indirectly through a rather small and understated reflection in the mirror. Despite the low key manner of the monarchy’s portrayal,their influence and power still resonate from this piece of art, since the King and Queen’s authority dominated at the time. Therefore there was no need to portray Philip IV and Mariana on a larger scale. In addition, the reflection of the King and Queen appears in the centre of the mirror, which symbolises their importance, and indicates that everything in the Spanish empire revolves around themonarchy. Furthermore, Velázquez creates a sense of arrested emotion within Las Meninas, which is clearly conveyed by the mid-action poses and glances of members of the Spanish court. This aspect creates the illusion of a mid-action snapshot or photograph. As a result, Jonathan Brown suggests that Las Meninas captures the moment when the King and Queen have just entered the room, and all eyes are...
tracking img