The Buffoon Juan de Calabazas (Calabacillas) (c.1628 – c.1629) by Diego Velazquez

The Buffoon Juan de Calabazas (Calabacillas) - Diego Velazquez - c.1628 - c.1629

Artwork Information

TitleThe Buffoon Juan de Calabazas (Calabacillas)
ArtistDiego Velazquez
Datec.1628 - c.1629
Dimensions106 x 175 cm
Art MovementBaroque

About The Buffoon Juan de Calabazas (Calabacillas)

“The Buffoon Juan de Calabazas (Calabacillas)” is a work by the renowned Spanish painter Diego Velazquez, dating from around 1628 to 1629. This portrait is painted in oil on canvas and encapsulates the Baroque style of art that dominated the period. The artwork measures approximately 106 by 175 centimeters. It features a full-length depiction of a man, giving insight into Velazquez’s ability to capture the human figure and personality within the genre of portraiture.

In the painting, a man stands at ease with one hand resting on the back of a folding stool while the other casually holds a pair of glasses. The man depicted is believed to be Juan de Calabazas, a buffoon in the court of Philip IV of Spain. Velazquez’s skillful use of lighting accentuates the figure of the man who wears a somber black costume with a white collar, a common attire of the 17th-century Spanish court. While the background is subdued with muted colors, the subject’s face is lit with a soft light, drawing the viewer’s attention to his expression—a slight smile that adds a sense of personality and individuality to the work. The subject’s pose and expression, combined with the subtleties of the lighting and composition, are characteristic of Velazquez’s masterful technique and his contribution to the Baroque movement, which often sought to express movement, emotion, and drama.

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