The Lady with a Fan (c.1640) by Diego Velazquez

The Lady with a Fan - Diego Velazquez - c.1640

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Artwork Information

TitleThe Lady with a Fan
ArtistDiego Velazquez
Dimensions95 x 70 cm
Art MovementBaroque
Current LocationWallace Collection, London, UK

About The Lady with a Fan

“The Lady with a Fan” is an exquisite oil on canvas portrait by the distinguished Spanish artist Diego Velazquez, dating from around 1640. This illustrious piece epitomizes the Baroque art movement and can be viewed in its present location at the Wallace Collection in London, United Kingdom. The artwork measures 95 by 70 centimeters and features the genre of portraiture.

The artwork presents a woman of calm composure and aristocratic bearing, bathed softly in naturalistic light that is characteristic of Velazquez’s mature style. Her attire is sumptuous, draped in luxurious fabrics that suggest her high social standing. The subject’s gaze is piercing and direct, engaging the viewer with an introspective intensity that is often found in Velazquez’s portraiture.

The focal point of the composition, the fan held gracefully in her gloved hand, along with the delicate blue bow and flowers at her waist, add vibrant touches to the otherwise muted color palette. The chiaroscuro technique, a hallmark of the Baroque period, is masterfully employed here, lending depth and volume to the figure, as well as accentuating the textural contrasts of the various materials—the softness of her skin, the sheen of her pearls, and the heavy quality of her garments.

The poised dignity of the sitter is further underscored by the dark background, which sets off her pale complexion and highlights the intricate details of her adornment and features. This portrait not only reflects the status of the individual but also encapsulates the grandeur and emotional intensity prized by the Baroque era.

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