Portrait of a Little Girl (c.1640) by Diego Velazquez

Portrait of a Little Girl - Diego Velazquez - c.1640

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Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of a Little Girl
ArtistDiego Velazquez
Art MovementBaroque
Current LocationHispanic Society of America, New York City, NY, US

About Portrait of a Little Girl

The artwork titled “Portrait of a Little Girl,” attributed to the illustrious artist Diego Velazquez, is believed to have been created around the year 1640. It is executed using oil on canvas, a hallmark medium of its time. This portrait is an exemplar of the Baroque art movement, celebrated for its ability to capture the essence of the subject with dramatic realism. As a genre, the painting falls within the portrait category, which Velazquez is particularly renowned for. Preserved for modern audiences, this artwork is housed in the Hispanic Society of America, located in New York City, NY, United States.

In the artwork, the viewer is presented with a delicately rendered depiction of a young girl. The subject’s gaze seems to connect directly with the beholder, exuding a sense of innocence yet also a solemn demeanor, a technique Velazquez is adept at conveying. Her dark hair frames her face softly and cascades over her shoulders, providing a gentle contrast to the pale tones of her skin. The choice of lighting, typical of the Baroque movement, accentuates the volume of her youthful features and imbues the portrait with a certain depth and intimacy.

The attire of the little girl is depicted with a reserved color palette, suggestive of the period’s aesthetic preferences and possibly the social standing of the subject. The background remains understated and obscure, allowing the viewer to focus entirely on the portrait’s main subject. Through deft brushwork and mastery of shadow and light, Velazquez has captured not only the appearance but also the elusive spirit of the young girl, a testament to his unparalleled skill in the art of portraiture.

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