Old Woman Frying Eggs (1618) by Diego Velazquez

Old Woman Frying Eggs - Diego Velazquez - 1618

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Artwork Information

TitleOld Woman Frying Eggs
ArtistDiego Velazquez
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions128 x 99 cm
Art MovementBaroque
Current LocationScottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, UK

About Old Woman Frying Eggs

“Old Woman Frying Eggs” is a masterpiece by Diego Velazquez, created in 1618. This oil on canvas is a quintessential example of Baroque genre painting. The artwork measures 128 x 99 cm and is currently housed at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh, UK. Its rich detail and realistic depiction embody the artistic spirit of the early 17th century.

The artwork presents an intimate domestic scene with a profound sense of realism characteristic of Velazquez’s style. An elderly woman is at the center of the composition, engaged in the simple task of frying eggs. Her attention is focused on the pan, as she skillfully turns an egg with a spoon. Beside her is a young boy, holding a melon and a wine flask, his gaze directed towards the viewer with an expression that suggests a narrative beyond the frame. Both figures are portrayed with skilled chiaroscuro, enhancing the three-dimensionality and texture of their features and attire.

The foreground of the artwork is laden with still-life elements; kitchen utensils, a brass mortar and pestle, a white bowl, and a red onion contribute to the scene’s authenticity, each object rendered with precise detail that evokes the senses. The use of light is masterful, illuminating the faces of the subjects and the glinting surfaces of the metallic objects, creating a composition that is both dynamic and harmonious. Through this depiction, Velazquez not only offers a snapshot of everyday life but also celebrates the dignity found within such ordinary moments.

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