Count duke of Olivares (c.1638) by Diego Velazquez

Count duke of Olivares - Diego Velazquez - c.1638

Artwork Information

TitleCount duke of Olivares
ArtistDiego Velazquez
Dimensions58 x 44.5 cm
Art MovementBaroque
Current LocationMuseo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

About Count duke of Olivares

The artwork “Count Duke of Olivares” is an oil on canvas creation by the renowned Spanish artist Diego Velazquez, dating from approximately 1638. It embodies the Baroque art movement with a striking sense of realism and vitality, a characteristic of Velazquez’s style. The portrait’s dimensions are modest, measuring 58 by 44.5 centimeters. Currently, it is housed in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain. The genre of this piece is portraiture, which was a preferred format for depicting individuals of stature during that period.

The artwork is a portrait of a man, presumably the Count-Duke of Olivares, a powerful figure in 17th-century Spain. The subject is shown up to his chest, facing forward, with his gaze seemingly directed at the viewer. His facial features are rendered with meticulous attention: the rounded cheeks, the mustache, and the goatee are strikingly lifelike, characterizing the subject’s appearance with precision. He wears a dark robe and a wide, flat white collar, which was typical of the Spanish fashion for noblemen during that era.

The background is unadorned and painted in a dark, neutral tone, which allows the viewer to focus entirely on the subject. The lighting in the artwork is subtle but effective, emphasizing the volume of the subject’s face and the texture of both the skin and the fabric of his attire. The overall composition and technique are representative of the Baroque movement’s emphasis on drama, detail, and realism, qualities for which Velazquez is widely celebrated.

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