Diego Velázquez was born in Seville, Spain in 1599 to parents of the lower nobility. He began his apprenticeship at the age of 11 under the Mannerist painter Francisco Pacheco, where he quickly surpassed his master in technical skill. Velázquez became one of Spain’s greatest baroque artists and is recognized as one of the greatest masters of art worldwide.
His life-long quest for fame, glory, and power was not limited to becoming the best painter in Spain but to achieve social status as well. Velázquez achieved this by climbing up the social ladder using his artistic talent to create portraits for influential people.
Velazquez’s signature style includes an emphasis on realism rather than idealism through bold brushstrokes and use of chiaroscuro (strong contrast between light and dark). One area he excelled at is portraiture, with some notable examples including “Portrait of Pope Innocent X” and “Las Meninas,” a group portrait that features him as an artist painting King Philip IV.
In conclusion, Diego Velázquez remains a prominent figure among art enthusiasts today who agree that he was not only one of Spain’s most significant painters but also managed to exemplify great business acumen by utilizing art for social purposes.