Velásquez, the successful exhibition at the Grand Palais
The Grand Palais offers for the first time a major retrospective to the painter Diego Velázquez, "the greatest that ever was" in the words of Edouard Mane.A major figure of Art history, Diego Velázquez (1599-1660) is one of the most famous painters of the Spanish Golden Age, and he's been paid tribute at the Grand Palais through an informative exhibition that encountered a great success since March,25 to mark its end on July, 13,2015.
This exceptional retrospective puts Velasquez's work in a dialogue with many paintings of artists of his time, artists he used to know, admire or influence at this time. It also focuses on the variations of styles and subjects in the first compositions of Velázquez, the passage between naturalism and Caravaggio, as well as its ability to perform equal landscapes, portraits and history paintings.
The retrospective at the Grand Palais, first exhibition of the Spanish painter in France, is the opportunity to stare into the eyes of Pope Innocent X, King Philip IV or the Infante Baltasar Carlos. Painter of power but above all brilliant artist, Velázquez painted with the same attention comedians and lords, slaves and masters.
The artistic history of Velázquez begins the year of his 12th birthday when he made his first steps in a painting workshop: Spain then being in full Golden Age, the money was not lacking and he was encouraged by his parents to join this road yet often maligned. You can see some of his early religious works and those of his contemporaries, Italians traveling or attentive Spaniards, eloquent testimonies by constant exchanges between the painters. A beautiful Saint John the Baptist (1617-1619) Italian painter Bartolomeo Cavarozzi is also presented, showing the all new naturalistic interest in the representation of the leaves of the tree, face and body. Shortly after this, in the same realistic vein, one can see the first striking portrait by Velázquez: Portrait of a man (around 1623) is incredibly alive, the eye is shiny, slightly greasy skin, greasy chin. Will he start to move? In any case, the genius is almost palpable.