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Diego Velazquez Wall Art

Diego Velázquez (1599-1660) was born in Seville in southern Spain. By then, Spain was a very important city with thriving artistic community. Velázquez was apprenticed to Francisco Pacheco at the age of 11. Francisco Pacheco was Seville's most significant art theorist and artist in those years. Velázquez learned the technical skills of painting and drawing From Pacheco. He also learnt portraiture and still-life and soon surpassed his master. Velázquez did not follow the path of the more traditional Pacheco, instead he responded to the techniques of modern innovators such as Caravaggio. Velázquez finished his apprenticeship in 1617 and was granted the right to set up his own studio. In 1618, he married Juana, Pacheco's daughter and by 1621, the couple had two daughters.

In 1623, Velázquez was asked to paint a portrait of the young King Philip IV which he did. King Philip was so exited that he immediately appointed Velázquez as one of his painters. This gave Velázquez the opportunity to access the impressive royal collections from which he learnt a lot. Velázquez studied the Italian paintings, particularly those by Venetian artists such as Titian. And in 1628when Rubens arrived in Madrid on a diplomatic mission, the two artists got to know each other well. In 1629, Velázquez was given permission to visit Italy by himself and study Italian painting. He used this opportunity to search for new paintings and buy them on behalf of the King. Velázquez continued to rise up the ranks. In 1636 he was made Assistant to the and in 1643, he was promoted again to Gentleman of the Bedchamber, a very prestigious position. He was also made superintendent of the palace works. Three years later, he was put in charge of a project to modernize the old Alcázar palace.
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