The painting of “The Dwarf Francisco Lezcano” by Diego Velazquez is one of the most interesting examples of portraiture from this era. In this painting, Velazquez poses the jester at the court of Philip IV of Spain in a brightly lit studio. He stands with his arms akimbo and looks directly out at us. The painting was created between 1643-1645 and currently hangs in the Museo del Prado in Madrid.
Velazquez’s use of light to express emotion is truly remarkable. The bright light creates a stunningly realistic effect; we can almost feel the intensity emanating from Francisco’s gaze. His gaze conveys strength, determination and courage, despite his status as a court jester. This sense of courage is further accentuated by his firm stance and grandiose costume.
Velazquez’s masterpiece “The Dwarf Francisco Lezcano” serves as an example of Spanish Baroque portraiture at its finest. This richly detailed painting clearly shows Velazquez’s extraordinary talent for conveying emotion via lighting and composition. It serves as an excellent compliment to other works such as “The Count-Duke Of Olivares On Horseback” – painted by Velazquez around 1634 – that depict her majesties court figures in their full regalia.