The Needlewoman (c.1635 – 1643) by Diego Velazquez

The Needlewoman - Diego Velazquez - c.1635 - 1643

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Artwork Information

TitleThe Needlewoman
ArtistDiego Velazquez
Datec.1635 - 1643
Dimensions60 x 74 cm
Art MovementBaroque
Current LocationNational Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, US

About The Needlewoman

“The Needlewoman,” an exquisite oil on canvas painting by Diego Velazquez, was crafted during the period of c.1635 – 1643. This artwork epitomizes the Baroque art movement, renowned for its dramatic expression and detail. Measuring 60 by 74 centimeters, the portrait is a testament to Velazquez’s mastery of form and light. The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, US is the current guardian of this remarkable work.

The artwork portrays a meticulous depiction of a woman absorbed in the act of sewing. Her gaze is downward, directed toward her work, with a serene and concentrated expression that relays a sense of quiet dedication to her task. Velazquez’s use of light is particularly notable, as it softly illuminates the figure, highlighting the gentle folds of her white linen garment and the subtle hues of her flesh. Contrasting with the darker tones of her dress and the understated background, the image conveys a sense of depth and volume.

The artist’s painterly technique is evident in the deliberate brushstrokes that render the texture of the clothing and the delicate features of the woman’s face. Through a restrained color palette and expert manipulation of shadow and light, Velazquez captures the simple grace of a moment in everyday life, elevating it to a subject worthy of profound artistic consideration. As a genre piece, the artwork exemplifies the intimate and personal nature of portraiture in the Baroque era.

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