1. rq says

    I remember being especially struck by the reflection of the royal couple in the mirror there. Like I was in their shoes, looking in on those closest to me.

  2. says

    I remember seeing this in the Prado. It has (had as I recall at least in the 1970s) an entire room of its own and was mounted across one corner due to it’s size. You could spend hours studying it–more I suppose if you were an art expert. Anyway, one of my favorites. Thanks for the reminder of what beauty we can aspire to.

  3. Great American Satan says


    Nyuk. You know, it isn’t classist to talk about the magical transcendant experiences you can have with money, but it still feels ill for people in the US that have never even been to flippin’ Canada. If I could see it in the Prado, I would.

    I like some Velazquez. Someone once sent me a postcard of what looked like a monster that would sneak out of Francis Bacon walls and deliver wireframe cubes to his paintings. In response, I did a drawing of a gnome that would sneak into Velazquez paintings and populate them with little people.

    I never got around to mailing it. My wit dies alone.

  4. Timon for Tea says

    But I still think the greatest mirror in art belongs to the Arnolfini Wedding (which has a new name now, I think). Another mysterious and mysteriously affecting painting.

  5. patterson says

    If anyone has the chance they should check out Picasso’s versions of Las Meninas. Online or if you’re lucky enough at the Picasso museum in Barcelona. They are like the Rosetta stone of cubism, at least they were for me. Just glancing back and forth between the Picasso versions and the Velasquez, a little cubism switch went off in my head and ever since then cubist paintings have been a completely different experience for me.

  6. says

    @ 6 – that’s a bit mean. It’s not the case that only rich people travel. I too wish I could afford to nip over to the Prado, but that’s a different matter.

  7. says

    About 6 years ago I spent Christmas in Barcelona with my family and we visited the Picasso museum there. It holds his personal collection and some minor works, including his studies of Las Meninas. The studies were fascinating because (as studies) they were all very quick, repetitive treatments of the same subject, emphasizing certain aspects of the original. Seeing those gave me the closest view of what it must’ve been like to look through Picasso’s eyes. While they aren’t “great art”, I saw them as a window into his working mind.

    A few years later I was in Madrid for a week on business. Working twelve hour days, we had little chance to see the city during the week but we broke early on Friday & went to the Prado. If you ever have the chance, DO IT. Las Meninas is the centerpiece of the museum and it is totally awesome in flesh, but there is so much wonderful work there. The one piece that really struck me was a sculpture, a bust of a Queen (Isabella?) in veil, a truly beautiful work. What was breathtaking is that it was in marble; I cannot fathom how one carves something that stunning and detailed from a block of stone. It still boggles my mind.

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