Las Meninas—Nearly 400 years ago in Spain

As you may know, this year marks the 400th anniversary of both William Shakespeare and Miguel Cervantes’ deaths. Check out our last post showing what London looked like in 1616, compared to today. Now, let’s turn our attention to Spain.

Nearly 400 years ago, renowned painter Diego Velázquez painted Las Meninas, one of the most widely analyzed paintings ever created. Take a look at this video explaining some of the mysterious aspects of the painting to get a sense of how artistic mindsets were changing at that time, and to gain a better understanding of the historical context soon after Cervantes’ death.

You can go see Las Meninas in person at the Prado Museum in Madrid. Next time you visit the painting, look at it from the vantage point of the big door opposite the painting. The sensation you get is that you can actually walk between the characters.


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