Pablo Picasso, one of the most significant artists of the 20th century, created a series of 58 variations of Diego Velazquez’s famous painting Las Meninas in 1957. Velázquez’s Las Meninas is regarded as one of his most intellectually demanding works and is an essential piece in Spanish art history. The art historian Ernst Gombrich once referred to it as “the theology of painting.” It depicts the young Infanta Margarita surrounded by her attendants, while the process of making a portrait also being depicted on canvas.
Picasso’s work is not just about replicating Velazquez’s masterwork; instead, it encompasses both a challenge to one of Spain’s most important paintings and modern events occurring at that time. Each picture from Picasso’s Meninas reflects his version and interpretation by exploring color schemes combined with new groundbreaking styles during the time. Picasso was fascinated by this painting since he saw it when he was only fourteen years old and continuously sought its inspiration until his death.
Picasso’s variations offer insight into how ideas develop within art as he explores every element within fifty-eight different ways through bold abstracted depictions melding shapes together that create another dimension to photography or drawing techniques questioning our understandings ‘what defines art’. Even today, more than six decades later after its creation, Picasso’s Meninas series maintains relevance and influences young contemporary artists today; each bringing newfound interpretations continually creating new stories to tell with this timeless masterpiece reference from the past with technological advancements present creativity for future generations.