Velázquez and the Golden Age of Spanish Paintings
The 17th century is known as the Golden Age of Spanish Art, a period in which the country was able to use its vast wealth, accumulated during the 1500s following the expansion of its territories in Europe and the Americas, to fund extravagant and ambitious programmes of building and painting. At the helm of the country’s artistic patronage was King Philip IV, one of the greatest collectors of art throughout Europe. His well-honed instinct for talent drew him to the young, brilliant Diego Velázquez who would become his court painter, recording his likeness and that of his family for over 30 years. Velázquez soon became internationally recognised as the greatest artist of his generation, praised for his ability to capture a sitter’s personality or mood and admired for his mysterious, varied and often provocative subjects and interpretations. Many of his paintings are deliberately enigmatic, creating heated debate even today. This lecture will trace the rise of his glittering career at one of the most illustrious courts in Europe.
About the Lecturer
Sian Walters studied at Cambridge University; Lecturer at the National Gallery and The Wallace Collection and taught at Surrey University, specialising in 15th and 16th century Italian painting, Spanish art & architecture, and the relationship between dance and art. Also teaches private courses, and organises lectures, study days and art holidays abroad. Has lived in France and Italy, where she worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice.