Queen Mariana (1652 – 1653) by Diego Velazquez

Queen Mariana - Diego Velazquez - 1652 - 1653

Artwork Information

TitleQueen Mariana
ArtistDiego Velazquez
Date1652 - 1653
Dimensions131 x 231 cm
Art MovementBaroque
Current LocationMuseo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

About Queen Mariana

The artwork titled “Queen Mariana” is an oil on canvas portrait created by the prominent artist Diego Velazquez during the years 1652 to 1653. Velazquez, known for his skillful representation of the human form and the use of dramatic lighting, was a leading figure of the Baroque art movement. The painting is substantial in size, measuring 131 by 231 centimeters. As a genre, it falls into the category of portrait painting. This particular piece is housed at the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain, where it remains an important part of the museum’s collection.

In the artwork, Queen Mariana is depicted with an air of regality and formality befitting her royal status. She stands poised, yet her facial expression conveys a soft and reserved demeanor. The queen is dressed in the lavish fashion of the 17th century, with a wide skirt that exaggerates her figure to align with the period’s aesthetic of grandeur and elegance. The intricately designed bodice of her dress is adorned with delicate decorations that exhibit the wealth and status of her position. Her sleeves are accented with slashed puffs, a fashionable style of the era.

Her attire, rich with elaborate patterns and textures, is complemented by a wide, stiff lace collar known as a ‘gorget,’ which frames her face and highlights her youth and composure. The voluminous skirt is a key feature, ornamented with swirls of what appears to be braided or twisted fabric, enhancing the overall grandiosity of her presence. In her right hand, Queen Mariana holds a fine handkerchief, adding a touch of delicate gracefulness to her pose.

A decorative curtain in tones of burnt orange cascades in the background, creating a theatrical and sumptuous environment that draws attention to the subject. This backdrop, alongside the subtle detailing of a miniature building to the right, suggests a setting that is both intimate and stately. Velazquez’s masterful handling of light and shadow enhances the three-dimensional quality of the figure, rendering the queen in a lifelike manner that is characteristic of his portraits. The painting serves not only as a depiction of the queen but also as a testament to Velazquez’s artistic prowess and his significant role in the Baroque period’s exploration of power, presence, and personality through portraiture.

Other Artwork from Diego Velazquez

More Baroque Artwork

Scroll to Top