The name Velazquez is her mother’s last name. The artist’s full name is Diego Rodriguez de Silva Velazquez. Diego Velazquez born on June 6, 1599. Diego Velazquez entered the studio of Francesco Pacheco when he was eleven years old. In 1617, a year after receiving his diploma, he married his teacher’s daughter, Juana Miranda Pacheco.
In the meantime, he began to give his first works in Seville. However, the lack of themes in Seville, which was full of churches and monasteries, forced him to go to Madrid. Velázquez, who went to Madrid in 1622, saw the noble life in here. Next year, after the second year of his arrival to Madrid, Velazquez began to make King portraits. After a while, King Felipe IV appointed Velazquez as a court painter. Thus Velazquez and his family settled in the Spanish capital. In 1627 he became “Ujier de Camera”.
In all his works, including his first works in Seville, naturalism was at the forefront. The greatest ideal of every artist in those years was to go to Italy and get to know this country. In August 1628, Rubens went to Madrid and the honor of being his guide was given to Velazquez. Thus this two artists became close friends. Rubens advised his Spanish colleague to go to Italy.
On September 19, 1629, Velazquez traveled to Genoa, toured Italy’s major art centers for several years, and went to Naples in January 1631. He stayed in Rome for a year before returning to his homeland. During his days in Italy, he learned a lot from Italian painting. He was also influenced by Tiziano’s works.
In 1652, he become “Apodentador Mayor”. With this title, he and his family were granted permission to live in a part of the Palace. In this period, Velazquez was able to present all of his works in complete neutrality. He was able to bring new emotions to the art of painting, most of his works shows human love. In addition, he used light and shadow skillfully, emphasizing the outer lines, strictly separating the form from the environmental elements and paying attention to detail.
In 1657, Velazquez wanted to travel to Italy one more time, but King didn’t let him to do so. Velazquez was now at the top of success and fame. In the same years, he restored Alcazar Palace and some Royal buildings. On November 28, 1659, he received his highest rank. Velazquez thus had the title of nobility.
This rank and title was the greatest but the last of the great achievements of the great artist Velazquez. He passed away in Madrid on August 6, 1660.
Velazquez was certainly a worthy painter. He was one of the famous painters. what was more important was his fortune. Many of the famous painters of Europe, lived in misery, like Rembrandt and Frans, but Velazquez lived in wealth and reign. Therefore, there was always comfort, brightness and vitality in his works. Even in the most sad subjects of his works, it is possible to find a softness and a good expression on the face of charachters.