THE GREAT MASTERS IN PAINTING
Edited by G. C. WILLIAMSON, LITT.D.
Post Svo. 9 3-r. 6d. net each.
BOTTICELLI. By A. STRBETER.
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TINTORETTO. By J. B. STOUGHTON HOI.WORN, M.A.
VAN DYCK. By LIONEL COST, M.V.O., F.S.A.
VELASQUEZ. R. A. M. STEVENSON.
LEONARDO DA VINCI, By EDWARD McCuRDY, M.A,
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LONDON: G. BELL & SONS, LTD.
R. A. M. STEVENSON
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THE critical part of the matter in this volume has
appeared before, in a more expensive form, under the
title "The Art of Velasquez." The biographical infor-
m^tion, however, which was limited then to a single
paragraph, has been amplified, and now forms a separ-
ate chapter. The Author has taken advantage of the
opportunity to make a few verbal corrections, the time
at his disposal not having allowed him to re-visit
Madrid, as he had hoped to do.
A list of the works of Velasquez, and a Bibliography,
have been added by the Editor of the Series. It is not
claimed that the list is in any sense complete ; nor has
Dr Williamson attempted to be critical in his attribu-
tions. He has simply recorded all the pictures attri-
buted to Velasquez with which he is acquainted, adding
such notes as are contained in catalogues or in his own
note-books, and accepting the information supplied by
the owners of the pictures. To the pages of the book
he would refer the student for any scientific criticism or
for authoritative statements as to the authenticity of
BIBLIOGRAPHY . . xiii
Introduction THE IMPORTANCE OF VELASQUEZ IK
THE HISTORY OF PAINTING . . i
Chapter L His SURROUNDINGS IN SPAIN : HIS POSI-
TION AT THE COURT OF PHILIP IV. . 4
II. PERIODS OF HIS LIFE AND WORK . . 10
III. COMPARISON BETWEEN THE THREE STAGES
OF HIS ART 23
IV. THE DIGNITY OF TECHNIQUE 34
-^ V. THE COMPOSITION OF VELASQUEZ . . 42
_. VI. His COLOUR 63
VII. His MODELLING AND BRUSHWORK . 73
VIII. NOTES ON SOME OF HIS PICTURES . 84
IX. His RELATION TO OLDER ART . 94
X. His INFLUENCE UPON RECENT ART 103
XI. THE LESSON OF IMPRESSIONISM * * 113
Appendix LIST or WORKS . 129
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
EQUESTRIAN PORTRAIT OF Dow BALTHAZAR CARLOS.
(Prado.) Middle Period (Photogravure) frontispiece
EL INFANTE DON CARLOS, (Prado.) Early Style . 4
PHILIP IV. YOUNG. (Prado.) Early Style. Cirta
DONA JUANA PACHECO. (Prado.) . . * 12
DONA MARIA, DAUGHTER OF PHILIP III. (Prado.)
Circa 1630 14
DAUGHTER OF VELASQUEZ (SO-CALLED). (Prado.) 1626 16
THE ADORATION OF THE MAGE (Prado) Early Style*
THE SURRENDER OF BREDA. (Prado.) Middle Period 24
THE TOPERS. (Prado.) First Period. Date 1629 . 28
LAS MENINAS, ALSO CALLED "LA FAMILLA." (Prado.)
Late Style, 1656 ....... 32
PHILIP IV. AS A SPORTSMAN. (Prado) Middle Period 36
THE ADMIRAL ADRIAN PULIDO PAREJA. (National
Gallery.) Middle Period, 1639 .... 40
La RECONTE OR CONVERSATION. (Louvre.) Middle
Period (?) 44
PHILIP IV. ON HORSEBACK. (Prado.) Middle Period 46
EL CONDE-DUQUE D'OLIVAREZ. (Prado*) Middle
Period , t t , 4 s
x LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
THE DWARF "EL PRIMO." (Prado.) Middle Period,
THE SCULPTOR MARTINEZ MONTAN&S, ONCE CALLED
ALONSO CANO. (Prado.) Middle Period . . 54
A BETROTHAL. (National Gallery.) Late Middle Style 58
CHRIST AT THE PILLAR. (National Gallery.) Middle
TIEW IN THE GARDEN OF THE VILLA MEDICI, ROME.
(Prado.) Circa 1630 61
VIEW IN THE GARDEN OF ARANJUEZ. (Prado.) Circa
1630 . 64
MERCURY AND ARGUE. (Prado.) Late Style (?). Middle
Period (?) 68
MOENIPPUS. (Prado.) Late Style 70
THE CORONATION or THE VIRGIN. (Prado.) Late
Period ......... 72
THE FORGE OF VULCAN. (Prado.) Circa 1630 . . 74
PABLILLOS DE VALLADOLID, CALLED A BUFFOON, AN
ACTOR, AND A RHETOR. (Prado.) Middle Period 78
THE CRUCIFIXION. (Prado.) Middle Period, 1639 * 80
POPE INNOCENT X. (Hermitage,} Circa 1650 . , 8a
^Bsopus. (Prado} Late Style 86
MARIA TERESA. (Prado.) Late Period ... 90
LAS HILANDERAS, OR THE SPINNERS. (Prado} Late
Period ......,, 93
THE DWARF, C< EL Niifo DE VALLBCAS," AN IDIOT,
(Prado.) Middle Period (?) (Catalogue). Late Style
THE DWARF SEBASTIAN DE MORRA. (Prado} . t 96
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS xi
CRISTOBAL DE PERNIA, CALLED "BABARROJA." (Prado.)
Late Style 100
MARIANA DE AUSTRIA, SECOND WIFE OF PHILIP IV.
(Prado.) Late Style 102
THE DWARF CALLED ANTONIO EL INGLESE. (Prado.)
Late Style 106
PHILIP IV. OLD. (National Gallery.) Late Style . no
THE GOD MARS. (Prado.) Late Style . . .114
ST ANTHONY VISITING ST PAUL, (frado.) Late Style 116
LA INFANTA DONA MARGARITA MARIA. (Louvre.) Late
Style. Circa 1659 118
VENUS. Latest Period. Reproduced from the original
painting by kind permission of Mrs Morritt, of
Rokeby Park ........ 132
AMADOR DE LOS Rios, DON Josl "Sevilla Pintosesca."
ARANJO Y SANCHEZ, DON CEFERINO. "Los Museos de
Espana." Madrid, 1875.
ARMSTRONG, Sir WALTER. "Art and Life of Velasquez."
ASENSIO Y TOLEDO, DON Jos MARIA. " Francisco Pacheco ;
sus obras Artisticas." Seville, 1867.
BERUETE, A. DE. "Velasquez." Paris, 1898.
BLANC, CHARLES. " Histoire des Peintres." Paris.
BOSARTE. "Viage Artistico & varies Pueblos de Espana."
BURGER, W. " Tresor d' Art en Angleterre." Paris, 1865.
BURGER, W. "Velasquez et ses CEuvres." Paris, 1865.
CARDUCHO, VICENTE. "Dialogos de la Pintura. w Madrid,
CEAN BERMXIDEZ, D. JUAN AGUSTIN. "Diccionario His-
torico." Madrid, 1800.
CRTOADA VILLAAMIL, DON GREGORIO. "Revista Europea
Informaciones de las calidades de Velasquez.' 1 Madrid,
CXTMBERLAND. ** Anecdotes of Painters in Spain." London,
CURTIS, C. B, "Catalogue of the Works of Velasquez and
DAVILLIER, CH. "Memoire de Velasquez," Paris, 1874.
EL ARTS EN ESPA&A. Madrid, i86a.
FORD, RICHARD. " Handbook for Spain. 11
FORD, RICHARD. "Paintings of Spain." In Quarterly^ June
GAUTIER,T. "Velasquez," "L'Artiste." March, 1868.
GUELLEXTB, CHARLES. " Les Peintres Espagnols." Paris,
JUSTI, CARL. "Diego Velasquez und sein Jahrhundert."
JUSTI, CARL. " Velasquez and his Times. 19 Translated by
LAWSON, E. KERR, "Catalogue of the Museo del Prado,"
LBFORT, PAUL, in " Gazette des Beaux Arts," 1879-84.
LEFORT, PAUL, "Velasquez," in "Artistes Cflfcbres" series.
LUCKB, H. "Velasquez.*
MADRAZO, DON PEDRO DE. "Catalogue of Prado." Madrid,
MADRAZO, DON PEDRO DE. u Viage Artistico de toes siglos pot
las Colecciones de los reyes de Espafia." Barcelona, 1884,
MADRAZO, DON PEDRO DE. "VdasqueV ''L'Art* NOIN
ember and December 1878.
PACHECO, FRANQSCO. "El Arte de la Pintura." Seville,
PALOMINO DE CASTRO T VELASCO^ DON ANtoma **B1
Museo Pictorico y Escala Optict. w Madrid, 17x5.
PASSAVANT. "Die Christliche Kunst in Spanien." Leipsic,
QUILLET. " Dictionnaire des Peintres, EspagnoL" Paris,
Ris, CLEMENT DE. "Le Mus6e de Madrid." Paris, 1859.
STIRLING- MAXWELL, Sir W. "Velasquez and his Works."
STIRLING-MAXWELL, Sir W. " Annals of the Artists of
Spain." London, 1848.
STOWE, EDWIN. "Velasquez." 1895.
VIARDOT, L. " Les Musses d' Espagne." Paris, 1860.
ZARCO DEL VALLE, DON M. R. "Documentos ineditos para
la Historia de las Bellas artes en Espana." Madrid, 1870.
THE IMPORTANCE OF VELASQUEZ IN THE HISTORY
WHEN one speaks of Velasquez, it must be remem-
bered that his influence upon art is still young. His
genius slumbered for two hundred years, till the
sympathy of one or two great artists broke the spell
and showed us the true enchanter of realism, shaping
himself from a cloud of misapprehension. The import-
ance and the comparative novelty of the subject may
excuse these few notes, taken during a visit to Madrid.
For it will be allowed that Italy still draws the mass
of picture-lovers. Hundreds of writers, sitting at home,
direct the pilgrimages of thousands of travellers amidst
the nicest details of Italian galleries. Every day sees
some new book or paper on the Raphaelites, pre-
Raphaelites, or Venetians. You enter the Uffizi of
Florence or the Academy of Venice with a crowd
who look at their books no less than at the pictures.
The Prado of Madrid is almost your own ; a few
students are there, and a stray traveller or two like
yourself, but you may wander half a morning and see
no other Englishman. The great gallery has not yet
been described and criticised in English more than
it deserves. Now people like to attach a ready-made
sentiment to a picture; they hate to form their own
judgment, and to wait till a canvas speaks to them
in its own language. .The true effect of art is slow.
A picture is a quiet companion of your leisure, whose
mood you learn to accept without heated controversy ;
one of those quiet figures, in fact, who sit and smoke
opposite you, till you seem to exchange thoughts with
them by something like mental transference. If you
must rush this intimacy in a public gallery, you should
look at a picture as you would at a mesmeriser, with
your head empty and all your life in your eyes. But
the hurried visitor sins from over-eagerness. He is
fluttered by anticipation of the many things to come,
and will not abandon himself to what is actually before
his eyes. He will not wait; he prefers to bustle up
his acquaintance with a canvas by means of the formal
introduction of some one whom he regards as an
habitu6 of picture-galleries.
The energy and eloquence of a Ruskin and the
sympathetic comprehension of a Whistler or a Carolus-
Duran are needed for Madrid. I do not pretend to
have settled my own opinions about Velasquez, much
less to set myself up as a guide, or to utter a final
word upon such a subject Some one with time and
opportunity, I hope, may take my notes into account,
in a thorough investigation of Velasquez, from the
point of view of modern art As yet few but painters
enjoy Velasquez, or rightly estimate his true position
in the history of art Not much is known about him.
Contempt, not to say oblivion, fell on the man who
preconceived the spirit of our own day. Amongst
notable prophets of the new and true Rubens,
Rembrandt, Claude he was the newest, and certainly
the truest, from our point of view ; so new and so true,
indeed, that two hundred years after he had shown
the mystery of light as God made it, we still hear that
Velasquez was a sordid soul who never saw beauty,
a mere master of technique, wholly lacking in imagina-
tion. So say those whose necks are stiff with looking
at Italy and Raphael. Delacroix x complains of them,
in his Letters, that they see beauty only in lines, and
therefore refuse to believe that others may receive a
different kind of impression. The opinion of these
people is not to be controverted by words alone, and,
as nature is a hard teacher, a student may save himself
trouble by studying Velasquez at Madrid. A man
of genius learns from a mere hint, it is true, and such
an one without going farther than Paris or London
may understand how Velasquez saw the world: a
more ordinary eye, however, must take the Spaniard's
greatness half on trust, if he has not seen Madrid.
But with the best will in the world some eyes really
cannot see the side of nature that Velasquez saw;
while others are so bandaged by Italian prejudice that
they may save themselves the trouble of a journey.
1 **Ce femeux beau que les tins voient dans la ligne serpentine, les
autres dans la ligne droite, ils se sont tous obstine* a ne le voir que dans
les lignes. Je suis a ma fengtre et je vois le plus beau paysage : 1'idee
d'une ligne ne me vient pas a 1' esprit,**
HIS SURROUNDINGS IN SPAIN : HIS POSITION AT THE
COURT OF PHILIP IV.
TRAVELLING in Spain, after all, is not so bad as many
would have it Neither are the trains so slow and so
dangerous, nor the food and wine so unpalatable, as
they have been reported, while the approach to 'Madrid
must take you through the scenery of Velasquez's
pictures. This provides a fitting overture to the long
array of his works which awaits you in the Prado.
But in itself no country offers a more beautiful land-
scape than Spain, and none that I have seen provides
a more desirable setting for figures, horses, and other
picturesque objects. No trivialities encumber the large
structural features of this country. As in the fens, so
here, a figure dominates. You see it on the dry, stony
foregrounds of empty, rolling plains, which are ringed
round with sharp, shapely sierras in the broad, blue
distance. The landscape is unembarrassed with detail,
but the one or two interesting forms with which it is
furnished are at once simple and piquant A clear,
delicate atmosphere, penetrated with a flood of light,
softens every definition, and fuses every local tint with-
out blotting it, as in our own foggy island. No local
hue appears as if gummed like a wafer against the
universal grey paper of everything that is not quite
close at hand ; nor do the masses of objects look like
EL INFANTE DON CARLOS
HIS SURROUNDINGS IN SPAIN 5
thin, unmodelled side scenes against an obliterated
distance. Things of the liveliest tint sink into the
coloured whole, owning, by their lit side as by their
shadowed, the federating power of real light Great
parts of Spain resemble pictorially the plains and hills
of the Maremma more than any other part of Italy.
But the view, although as luminous and as coloured
as in Italy, is usually less crowded and less excited,
except for the active sport of clouds in this stormier
region of Spain. Indeed, the country of Velasquez
seems the very place in which to study values, in
which to discover and to develop impressionism. On
the way to Toledo I saw the sierras, just as Velasquez
often painted them, of a powerful blue streaked with
stretches of snow, and looking out from an agitated
sky full of rifted clouds of a dirty white colour. For
Spain is by no means always bright and gay, though
always atmospheric and profound.
In this country external nature favoured the painter
both by landscape and by picturesque figure ; but the
inner condition of the people scarcely answered the
demands of the historian, who makes art flourish only
with freedom and public enterprise. Where was the
growing commerce, the expanding institutions, or the
religious liberty in the shrinking, priest-ridden Spain
of the seventeenth century? As Mr Whistler says,
the growth of art is sporadic, and to affect the mind
of one man it is not necessary to postulate the conflict
of nations and all the mighty epoch-making machinery
of history. Genius is concocted by the momentary
accidental commerce of a man and woman, and fostered
by a voyage, a visit, or communion with a half-dozen
of friends. Commercial demand may encourage trade
painting, and princely patronage palatial decoration;
but who shall say what encourages genius that com-
pound of original seeing, intellectual courage, and some
gift or other of expression?
Is it encouraging to be a portrait painter, to undergo
the interested but ignorant criticism of the sitter, to
disregard times and seasons, the disposition of the
moment and the beckonings of the spirit, and to jump
at no obstacle that you cannot clear in your habitual
stride? Is it encouraging to live in a sinking country,
and be the painter of a bigoted and fantastically
ceremonious court? Yet, in spite of such poor en-
couragement, Velasquez became the boldest arid most
independent of painters. But is there no qualifying
circumstance? May not the picture of this life be a
transparency that changes when you hold it up to the
light? Many old men, reared in the puritanical and
hypocritical Edinburgh of the past, could tell you the
private, reactionary effect of that life of repression
and humbug upon a decent, genuine man. That you
may not think at all, or act for yourself, is to add the
very zest of piracy to experiment iu life and originality
in thought. Where public profession is manifestly a
lie, and public manners a formal exaggeration, life
becomes a chest with a false bottom, which opens into
a refuge for the kindlier, wiser, and more ardent among
human beings. As much as Spain, the court, and the
priest, asked of man in those days, so much you may
be sure did the courageous individual repay himself
in the freedom of private life, and in the audacity of
private thought It is, perhaps, this instinct of reaction
that causes the word licence to companion the word
discipline in any historical account of an army.
HIS SURROUNDINGS IN SPAIN 7
Nothing, they say, was more intimate and freer than
the private bearing of those nobles of the ancien rgime y
who, nevertheless, stood at arms, so to speak, beneath
the eye of the king on any public occasion. Delaunay,
I remember, brought out this distinction of manners,
when he played the part of Richelieu in Alexandre
Dumas's "Mademoiselle de Belle Isle."
To be a king of Spain, to preside at religious execu-
tions, to have a wife whom no man, even to save her
life, might touch on pain of death, was to be a creature
sorely in need of private liberty, and the solace of con-
fidential intercourse. Philip IV. seems to have been
naturally kind, genial, and affable, and to have divided
his leisure between the hunting-field and Velasquez's
studio. The two, artist and king, grew old together,
with like interests in horses, dogs, and painting ; thaw-
ing when aloae into that easy familiarity between
master and old servant, freezing instantly in public
into the stiff positions that their parts in life required.
Painter to the king when he was scarce twenty-five
years old, Velasquez escaped most of the dangers and
humiliations of professional portrait-painting, without
losing its useful discipline of the eye, its rigorous test
of the ever-present and exacting model.
Though remote from Italy, from its living jealousies,
and its overwhelming past, Velasquez was able to
copy Italian pictures in the palaces of Spain, while
he was permitted by the king's bounty to visit Rome
and Venice as a person of some consequence. The
situation favoured the growth of a genuinely personal
way of looking at the world; and, indeed, no one
was more original in his art than Velasquez, and no
one less afraid of dispensing with traditional receipts
for truth and beauty. He sought more and more to
express the essential quality of his own eyesight, and
he grew less and less dependent on hints derived from
other people's practice. What he painted therefore
concerned him less than how he painted. Like Rem-
brandt, who never ceased to paint his own portrait,
Velasquez studied one model, from youth to age, with
unalterable patience and an ever-fresh inspiration.
He could look at the king's well-known head with a
renewed interest, as he went deeper into the mystery
of eyesight, and became better informed as to the
effects of real light His slow transformation of this
face, through a hard realism of feature and detail, to
the suavity of impressional beauty, seems comparable
to that tireless climb of the Greek sculptors, through
so many stiffly-studied athletes, to the breadth of
Phidias's gods, or the suppleness of the serene
Hermes of Praxiteles. Unrelaxing criticism of beauty
distinguishes the highest order of artist alone; it
comes from that thirst after perfection which kept the
Greeks satisfied, artistic, even enthusiastic, whilst
polishing for three hundred years the details and pro-
portions of what we should call the same stale old
style of architecture. Curious about particular sub-
jects, but incapable of conceiving a general ideal of
sight itself, meaner artists sicken at the apparently
ordinary, or the apparently stale; and must be
cockered up with the pride of lofty titles, and the
conceit of novelty of motif, which they mistake for
originality of view. On the other hand, those who
constantly compare their work, not so much with de-
corative traditions, as with the beauty they see in
reality, keep their senses active, and scent, even in
PHILIP iv (YOUNG)
HIS SURROUNDINGS IN SPAIN 9
the apparently commonplace subject, opportunity for
the improvement which makes for perfection.
The details of Velasquez's life, the dates, adventures,
and disputed attributions of his pictures, can all be
studied in the translation of Carl Justi's book. It is
perhaps more amusing to take a turn round the
Prado before you have read about Velasquez, before
you have heard what picture is doubtful, and when
each canvas was painted. One is apt to see too readily
in a canvas what one has previously learnt in a book.
If one has guessed the dates of pictures, and roughly
grouped them into periods, upon no other evidence
than the style of the work or the testimony of the
subject, one really understands the growth of the
painter's powers, and needs the historical document
merely to correct trifling errors and to elucidate doubt-
ful points. For this reason I passed two or three days
in the galleries at Madrid without any book-knowledge
of Velasquez, and without any catalogue. For those
who have not much time the plan has its drawbacks.
Knowing nothing of the painter's life, they may well
overlook matters that have given rise to serious ques-
tion. It will be well, therefore, to mention one or two
significant dates and events in the painter's life, upon
the authority of Carl Justi
PERIODS OF HIS LIFE AND WORK
BY 1599, the year Velasquez was born, his native place
Seville had reached the height of its fortunes, and was
about to decline from its renowned position as "the
capital of all the merchants in the world." The site
was built upon by successive civilisations Moorish,
Gothic, Renaissance ; so that Seville was truly both an
" essentially Oriental city " and a " very Catholic city."
At the end of the sixteenth century, its Catholicism,
though paramount, allowed it to be called a "city of
pleasure," the home of poetry and " Italian culture "
a town whose Alcazar was named "The School of
Love." The great painter's family was not of Sevillian
origin ; his grandfather, Diego Rodriguez de Silva,
came to Seville from Oporto, the home of the Silva
family. His name, Velasquez, the painter took from
his mother, who belonged to an old family of Sevillian
hidalgos. Juan de Silva made no attempt to thwart
his son's inclination towards painting, but about 1612
he placed the boy with Francisco de Herrera (1576-
1656), an architect 33 well as a painter of religious
pictures, low- life and still-life. Dissatisfied with the
rough temper of this master, Velasquez left him after
about a year, and passed into the studio of Francisco
Pacheco (1571-1654), where he remained for five years.
HIS LIFE AND WORK 11
Pacheco was a careful and severe teacher of drawing
as well as a pedant, a scholar, and the author of a
work on painting. From his writings we gather much
information concerning Velasquez, his friendships with
artists, and his connection with great personages.
Pacheco felt so satisfied with the birth, the industry,
the talent of his pupil that he chose him for his son-
in-law, and, on April 23, 1618, married him to his
daughter, Juana de Miranda. Thus the good-will, the
friends, the interest of Pacheco were placed henceforth
at the service of his son-in-law. Among these friends
were most of those who took any account of art and
letters in Seville. An opportunity to use their kind offices
soon occurred. Philip III. died on March 31, 1621; the
young king, Philip IV., dismissed his father's minister,
the Duke of Lerma, and gave his confidence to the
Count Olivarez, a son of the governor of the Alcazar
at Seville. Up to 1615 Olivarez had lived in Seville
as a patron of poets and painters; when he became
the new king's favourite, some Sevillian men of letters
spoke to him of Pacheco's son-in-law. Velasquez went
at once to Madrid, but it was not till his second visit
in 1623, and only then after some delay, due to the
arrival of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Buckingham,
that Olivarez managed to get him a sitting for an
equestrian portrait of the king. A bust in armour
(Prado, 1071) must have been painted at the same
time as the now lost equestrian portrait The likeness
pleased, and its author, at twenty-four, received his
appointment as Court painter to a king of eighteen.
In this position Velasquez found himself associated
with the Court .painters, Eugenio Caxesi, Carducho,
Gonzales, and later on, Nardi. They were not well
disposed towards a new-comer who speedily won the
favour of their royal patrons and sitters.
Philip IV. (1605-65) had two brothers Carlos
(1607-32), and the Cardinal Ferdinand (1609- ). Of
these Carlos was the stoutest, the most lively, and
the least funereal in aspect ; Ferdinand, with the long
face of a shrewd but human Scottish lawyer, the most
capable and the most active in affairs, while in sport
he was second only to the king, who deserved his
reputation as the best rider in Spain. Year by year
the royal brothers enjoyed more and more the days
spent in private expeditions to the hunting-grounds
about the Escurial, Toledo, and Aranjuez. These were
informal parties, attended only by kindred spirits of
whatever rank. The woods of El Pardo, much nearer
the capital, were chosen for such great state functions
as the "Boar Hunt," by Velasquez, in the National
Gallery. The painter often accompanied the sports-
men, and in the course of his life he made many
sketches and pictures of hunting scenes and trophies
of the chase, which for the most part are missing.
Isabella de Bourbon (1602-1644), daughter of Henry
IV. of France, and first wife of Philip, disliked sitting,
and we only know one portrait of her that on a
white horse (Prado, 1067). This picture is not alto-
gether by Velasquez, who only worked on the face,
the horse, and the landscape. Isabella was an able, as
well as an amiable woman, but Olivarez gave her no
chance to influence Philip. The king's temperament
subjected him to female influence, and the minister,
fearing the counsels of a wise wife, kept him well
supplied with mistresses. Philip had three sisters,
whom Velasquez painted. Anne of Austria, the eldest
DONA JUANA PACHECO
CALLED THE WIFE OF VELASQUEZ
HIS LIFE AND WORK 13
was the wife of Louis XIII. of France, and the be-
loved of Buckingham ; Mary, who married Ferdinand
of Hungary in 1629, had been much admired by
Buckingham at the time of her betrothal to the Prince
of Wales in 1623. Margaret, a nun in the order of
Barefooted Carmelites, was painted by Rubens during
his visit to Philip.
From the beginning, Philip treated Velasquez in
the most friendly manner coming, says Pacheco,
to the studio "almost every day," by those secret
passages hung with pictures, which led from the king's
rooms to every part of the old Alcazar. The monotony
of this life was broken in the autumn of 1628 by the
arrival of Rubens (1577-1640), who for nine months
was constantly with the king and Velasquez. At
his earlier visit to Spain, in 1603, Rubens saw little
of Spanish artists, and complained of their idleness,
ignorance, and incompetency. According to Pacheco
and others, he thought highly of Velasquez, and
delighted in his society, while his view of the king
appears in a letter to Peiresc : " He evidently takes
quite a special pleasure in painting, and, in my opinion,
this prince is endowed with the finest qualities. I
already know him from personal intercourse, as I
have a room in the palace, so that he almost daily
Rubens worked hard during his stay in Spain,
painting portraits and copying all the king's Titians.
Of course Velasquez saw him at work, as it is on his
authority that Pacheco gives a detailed list of all
that Rubens did. Velasquez, moreover, accompanied
Rubens to the Escurial, where they climbed the
sierras and sketched bird's-eye views of the palace.
I 4 VELASQUEZ
It was after his nine months' friendship with Rubens,
and, perhaps, owing to the influence of the Flemish
painter upon the king, that Velasquez was permitted
to undertake his first Italian voyage in the train of
Spinola, the conqueror of Breda. This great soldier
and statesman was going out as governor of Milan
and comrnander-in-chief in Italy. The expedition left
Barcelona on the loth August 1629. From Milan,
Velasquez went to Venice, where, according to
Palomino, painter to Philip V., he chiefly enjoyed the
works of Titian, Tintoretto, and Paul Veronese. We
know, from other sources, that Velasquez preferred
Tintoretto before any painter ; indeed, we might guess
this taste from his own pictures, even if we had not
the criticisms of Francisco de los Santos on Tintoretto's
work in the Escurial criticisms which were inspired
by Velasquez, if not entirely borrowed from the
Memoria or catalogue drawn up by Philip's painter
when he arranged the gallery. Velasquez avoided
Florence, and went straight to Rome ; he copied for
some time in the Vatican, and he spent two months
at the Villa Medici, which he was obliged to leave
on account of a tertian ague. From Rome he passed
on to Naples, where he saw, and apparently liked,
his countryman, Ribera. In the early part of 1631
he returned to Spain, bringing with him a portrait
of the king's sister, Mary of Hungary, which he had
painted in Naples, also two figure-subjects, "The
Forge of Vulcan" and "Joseph's Coat"
This journey to Italy ends the first part of the
painter's life. The long second period, which began
on his return, was closed by another visit to Italy
in the year 1649. Justi says that the first half of
DAUGHTER OF PHILIP III
HIS LIFE AND WORK 15
this period was "probably the happiest experienced
both by Philip and Velasquez." Still, it is true that
in 1632 Don Carlos died, and Philip lost his younger
brother, the Cardinal Ferdinand, who left Spain to
undertake the government of Flanders. Here the
cardinal acted with his usual activity as his brother's
agent, not only in politics but in picture-buying. He
made use of Rubens and his pupils to paint or to
procure the numerous canvases which Philip required.
The new palace, Buen Retiro, on the heights above
the Prado, had been presented to the king by Olivarez.
This must be decorated, and, later on, the Escurial
and the Torre de la Parada a hunting-lodge in the
woods near El Pardo. To this work the Court painters
now set themselves, with Velasquez at their head.
For this end he produced his "Surrender of Breda,"
and his large equestrian portraits; and for this end
Caxesi, following the lead of Velasquez, painted
"The Repulse of the English at Cadiz" (Prado, 697).
Velasquez was now the unquestioned head of the
Spanish painters. He had already beaten them all
in a competition on the subject of " The Expulsion of
the Moriscoes by Philip III/ 1
The painter was now Introduced to a new sitter,
the king's little son, Balthasar-Carlos, who was born
in 1629, the same year as the illegitimate Don Juan
of Austria. In 1638 the Royal Family was further
increased by the birth of a daughter, Maria Teresa.
Then troubles came thicker upon the court After a
career of mismanagement, Olivarez was disgraced in
1643, and the Queen Isabella, who had regained her
influence over the king, died in 1644. In 1643 those
invincible lances of Spain, which figure in "the sur-
render of Breda," were utterly crumpled up by the
great Cond6 at Rocroi. After the fall of Olivarez,
Philip exerted himself and went in person to the per-
petual war which the French fomented in Catalonia.
In 1644 Velasquez accompanied him, and executed,
at Fraga, on the borders of Aragon and Catalonia,
the most coloured of his portraits of the king.
Opinions differ as to whether the Dulwich picture
may be the original or a copy of this work. The
heaviest blow of all now fell upon Philip ; his pro-
mising son, Balthasar, caught a cold at Saragossa,
and died in 1646.
During this middle period, various people of note
visited Madrid, and were painted by Velasquez;
amongst others, in 1638, Madame de Chevreuse, first
the friend and then the enemy of Anne of Austria.
Her visit was immediately followed by that of the
Duke of Modena, a great hunter, much beloved by
Philip. But the favours of a friend and a sovereign
whose power was declining could not long keep the
astute Duke from a French alliance.
During 1634 Velasquez married his daughter Fran-
cisca to his pupil, J. B. del Mazo. About 1641-2, his
still more illustrious pupil, Murillo (1618-82), came
from Seville, and spent two years under the guidance
of the master, who completely altered his views, and
turned him for a time to the serious study of nature.
Velasquez also renewed his friendship with certain
fellow-artists who were employed by the king about
this time. Alonzo Cano, Herrera, Zurbaran, the
sculptor, Martinez Montaftz, his old Sevillian friends,
were probably called to the capital on the suggestion
of the Court painter. Velasquez painted Montaftfe
"DAUGHTER OF VELASQUEZ"
HIS i-iJb^Ji AND WORK 17
in 1636; Cano, probably, before his conviction
for the supposed murder of his wife ; and the
satirist, Quevedo, certainly before his imprisonment
Velasquez left Malaga for Italy on 2nd January
1649, landed at Genoa, pushed rapidly through Milan,
only stopping to look again at Leonardo's "Last
Supper," and made for Venice, to buy pictures for
Philip. At Venice he made the acquaintance of the
poet, Boschini, who tells us that, although not very
lucky in his search for pictures, Velasquez, to his
delight, secured a finished sketch by Tintoretto for
the great picture still in the Ducal Palace. At
Naples, Velasquez revisited Ribera, whom he found
much affected by the elopement of his daughter with
Don Juan of Austria, who had seduced her when he was
sent by Philip to quell the revolt of Masaniello. In
Rome, Velasquez met many artists of note, Salvator
Rosa, Bernini, Algardi, Nicolas Poussin, amongst the
number. He had the honour of painting Innocent X.
in his robes, a task which he did not undertake till he
had practised on a portrait of his studio-fag the Moor
Juan de Pareja himself a painter. These two portraits
may be said to stand between the second and third
In the summer of 1651 Velasquez was again at
Madrid. He became more than ever necessary to the
king, and honours fell thick upon him during this final
period of his life and art He was made Marshal of
the Palace, an office of considerable honour, and, at
times, of no little trouble. He had to arrange the
royal journeys, court festivities, and tournaments. As
Philip, in 1649, had married a second wife his own
niece, Mariana of Austria, a girl of fourteen the court
was more lively than when Velasquez left it, and he
had a good deal to do with painting, festivity, and
the arrangement and decoration of the various palaces.
By his second wife, Philip had the Princess Margaret,
born 1651, the centre figure of "Las Meninas"; Philip
Prosper (1657-60) ; Ferdinand Thomas (1658-60) ; and
his successor, Carlos II. (1661-1700), the last of the
In 1659 Cardinal Mazarin brought about a marriage
between Maria Teresa and his young master, Louis
XIV. of France. The marriage took place on June 7th,
the two courts meeting at the Isle of Pheasants, in
the river which marks the frontier between France
and Spain. The tedious journey, the imposing cere-
monies, threw a great deal of work on the shoulders of
the Court-Marshal, and, a few weeks after his return
to the capital, Velasquez died, on the 6th August
In his latest pictures Velasquez seems to owe as
little as any man may to the example of earlier
painters. But, indeed, from the beginning he was a
realist, and one whose Ideal of art was to use his own
eyes. His early pictures cannot be attached surely to
any school ; they are of doubtful parentage, though,
with some truth, one might affiliate them to Caravaggio
and the Italian naturalists. From the first, he shows
sensitiveness to form, and a taste for solid and direct
painting. He quickly learnt to model with surprising
justness, but for a long time he continued to treat a
head in a group as he would if he saw it alone. Only
slowly he learnt to take the impression of a while
scene as the true motif of a picture. In his early
HIS LIFE AND WORK 19
work he faithfully observed the relations between bits
of his subject, but not always the relation of each bit
to the whole. If we compare the realistic work of
the young Velasquez with the pictures of the great
Venetians, we shall find it lacking their comfortable
unity of aspect That aspect may have been more
remote in its relation to nature, but it was certainly
ampler and more decoratively beautiful. Up to the
age of thirty, indeed, Velasquez seemed content to
mature quietly his powers of execution, without seek-
ing to alter his style, or to improve the quality of his
realism. Had he died during his first visit to Rome,
it might have been supposed, without absurdity, that
he had said his last word, and that, young as he was,
he had lived to see his art fully ripened. It would be
difficult, indeed, to do anything finer, with piecemeal
realism for an ideal, than the later works of this first
period. Pictures of the pre- Italian epoch are "The
Water Carrier" (Apsley House), "The Adoration of
the Magi" (Prado, 1054), "The Shepherds" (National
Gallery), "Bust of Philip in Armour" (Prado, 1071),
full-length, "Philip in Black" (Prado, 1070), "Philip"
(young, National Gallery), and "The Topers" (Prado,
1058). "The Forge of Vulcan" (Prado, 1059) was
painted at Rome on the visit which initiated the
The conversation and example of Rubens, the study
of Italian galleries, as well as the practice of palatial
decoration at Buen Retiro, gave a decorative character
to the art of Velasquez in the second period. One
tastes a flavour of Venetian art in the subject-pictures,
and one remarks something bold, summary, and less
intimate than usual, about the portraiture of this
time. As examples we may take "The Surrender of
Breda " (Prado, 1060), "The Boar Hunt" (National
Gallery), "The Crucifixion" (Prado, 1055), "Christ at
the Pillar" (National Gallery), "Prince Ferdinand,"
with dog, gun, and landscape background (Prado, 1075),
"The King as a Sportsman" (Prado, 1074), "Don
Balthasar and Dogs" (Prado, 1076), the large eques-
trian "Philip IV." (Prado, 1066), the equestrian "Don
Balthasar" (Prado, 1068), the equestrian "Olivares"
(Prado, 1069), "The Sculptor Montaitez" (Prado, 1091),
"The Admiral Pulido" (National Gallery), various
landscapes, and a few studies such as "The Riding
School" (Apsley House) and its variations. During
these twenty years, if ever, Velasquez relaxed his
effort at naturalism, not that he slackened his grip
upon form, but that he seems to have accepted in
Italy the necessity for professional picture - making.
His colours became a shade more positive or less
bathed in light, and his unity to some extent an
adopted decorative convention.
Upon his return from the second voyage, as if he
had satisfied himself that Venetian art could not
wholly render his manner of seeing, and that, at any
rate, he had pushed it, in "The Surrender of Breda,"
as far as it could go, he comes about once more and
seeks for dignity and unity in the report of his own
eyes. In fact, he adds the charm that we call im-
pressionism to such work of the third period as
" Innocent the Tenth," done in Rome, " Queen Mariana"
(Prado, 1078), "Las Meninas" (Prado, 1062), "Las
Hilanderas" (Prado, 1061), ^Esop w (Prado, uoo),
"Moenippus" (Prado, noi), the so-called "Maria
Teresa" (Prado, 1084), "Philip IV," (Prado, i O 8o),
THE ADORATION OF THE MAGI
HIS LIFE AND WORK 21
"Philip IV: Old" (National Gallery), and some of
the Dwarfs and Imbeciles in the Prado.
Some sojourn in the deadly capital of Spain is
necessary if one would know the variety of Velasquez,
and learn how often he forestalled the discoveries of
recent schools of painting. Various stages of his
growth, as shown in the Prado, remind us of various
stages in the progress of modern naturalism. Sudden
gusts of his fancy for some type or some quality in
nature ally this or that canvas by Velasquez with the
work of a man or a movement in our century. The
names of Regnault, Manet, Carolus-Duran, Henner,
Whistler, and Sargent, rise to one's lips at every turn
in the Prado ; one thinks, but less inevitably, of Corot,
when one sees the landscape of Velasquez. His early
work recalls John Philip and Wilkie, while the girl
in " Las Hilanderas " should be the very ideal of art
to the Pinwell, Walker, and Macbeth school. Except
the "Venus" belonging to Mr R. Morritt of Rokeby
Hall, the Prado lacks no picture essential to the full
understanding of the painter's art No other collec-
tion can give a just conception of the great works
in Madrid. To see only the National Gallery, the
Louvre, and the various private collections in England,
leaves one without an adequate idea of the equestrian
portraits, "Philip IV." (1066), "Olivares" (1069), and
"Don Balthasar" (1068); "The Surrender of Breda"
(1060), "The Sculptor Martinez Montaft&z" (1091),
"Moenippus" (1101), "^Esop" (uoo), the "Maria
Teresa" (1084), "Las Meninas" (1062), "Las Hil-
anderas" (1061), and the series of Dwarfs and
These pictures have changed very little; but, as
with all old pigment, a good light is necessary to
show the subtlety of the values and the expressive
character of the subdued or suggested detail.
Fortunately the light is excellent in the two chief
galleries of the Prado, which contain the principal
pictures. The first, a long room, wider than the
long gallery of the Louvre, is covered with a barrel-
ceiling. About half-way down on the left, a door
opens into the other room, a large, well-lit octagon.
Several large side-lit rooms with dark corners, try
the eyes, and baffle efforts at comparison ; fortu-
nately, however, they contain for the most part
inferior pictures, the works of predecessors of
Velasquez, and a few early canvases by the Master
COMPARISON BETWEEN THE THREE STAGES OF HIS ART
TRUSTING to report, and to the evidence of repro-
ductions, I expected to find "The Surrender of
Breda" (1060) the finest Velasquez in the Prado.
So I might have thought, if the painter's natural
gift had been less explicitly set forth, if he had
never lived to paint "Las Meninas," "The Spinners,"
";Esop," "Moenippus/' and "Maria Teresa" (1084,
Prado). To some minds it is easier, and it is
always quicker, to excel on the lines of older
decorative conventions, than to start a new one on
the expression of a personal view of beauty. From
his early standpoint of the realistic painter, Velas*
quez first mounted to the position of great artist
by excelling in the traditional cult of beauty; and
it was only towards the end of his life that he
divined a new art in the practice of personal im-
pressionism. "The Surrender of Breda" challenges
the greatest masters on their own ground ; it is
unworthy neither of them nor of Velasquez, but for
that very reason it is not the complete expression
of the Velasquez eyesight It was painted when he
was scarce forty, and as an ornamental panel in-
tended to co-operate with other historical works in
the decoration of the Salon de los Reinos of the
Buen Retire. Decoration hardly demands or permits
of quick evolution or sudden novelty, and though
the irrepressible originality of the man still appears,
it is evident that Velasquez wisely attempted to
follow the lead of his favourite Venetian masters in
the execution of this task. And certainly he has
succeeded, for the picture might be hung in the
Ducal Palace at Venice. But to realise such an
ambition was by-play, and not the work of Velas-
If you would compare a realism, ennobled though
somewhat chastened by grand decorative treatment,
with a realism not only exalted but intensified by
the artistic principles of impressionism, you have a
fine opportunity at the Prado. When you enter
the long gallery from the street, walk down it some
way; on the right, before you reach the Octagon
Room, you will see "The Surrender of Breda," and
facing it "Las Meninas," a work of the painter's
later life. "The Surrender of Breda" you may
admire according to your nature; you may even
consider it the better picture, but by no means, as
is "Las Meninas," an absolutely unique thing in the
history of art
As one views from a central standpoint the start
and finish of a race, so, from "The Surrender of
Breda," the masterpiece of his middle life, you may
look backwards and forwards, upon the early and
upon the late Velasquez. It will not be forgotten that
"The Surrender of Breda" was painted between the
two voyages to Italy. As might be expected, it
agrees in many points with other canvases painted
during that period in which Velasquez was so much
THE THREE STAGES OF HIS ART 25
occupied with palatial decoration. By its size, by
its freedom of touch, by the variety and warmth of
its colours, by the complexity of its pattern, by its
dark foreground browns, by the quality of its blue
distances, it is allied to the large equestrian por-
traits, the hunting scenes and hunting portraits of
this period. Nor in its vigour of brushing, and its
force of positive colour, is it altogether unlike the
"Admiral Pulido" of our National Gallery and
"The Sculptor Montaftes" of the Prado (1091).
The Admiral indeed is so unlike any portrait by
Velasquez that some have doubted its authenticity,
but it is very like the figures in " The Surrender
It is difficult to conceive that this great subject
could be treated less conventionally without some loss
of interest and dignity. No more than Veronese or
Rubens, could Velasquez combine decorative splendour
and historical clearness with the subtle mysteries of
real tone and the impressionistic unity that lift truth
into poetry. In other words, this kind of subject was
unfitted to bring out the more original and characteristic
qualities of Velasquez's genius. Subjects, however
grand in title and dignified in historical association,
are valuable to the painter in proportion as they give
him a pretext for making the most of what is beautiful
in his own art No subject in itself can make or mar
art; subject is indifferent except for its favourable
or unfavourable effect on the artist Even the record
of a seen thing produces a noble or ignoble effect
according as it records a grand or a trivial manner of
using the eyesight, according as it shows a mean
anxiety about details, petty circumstance and wiry
pattern, or reveals sympathy with large shapes, subtle
nuancing, or lovely qualities of paint. Let a bad
painter call a figure by the name of what God he
will, and carefully accompany it with sacred symbols,
yet, if the forms are poor or ill-disposed, the figure
remains a mean one, and less grand than the study
of some street porter that is fuller of the mystery of
fine seeing and the emotions of a higher view of form.
Remember, too, that what we call subject in painting
imports still less than what we call subject in literature.
This figure of the God and that of the street porter
differ in title rather than in subject, for after all, the
same model or true pictorial subject may have sat
for both, and it is surely the grandeur of treatment,
not the mere addition of symbols, accessories, and
titles, that should make an essential difference between
the two works.
It was perhaps, then, rather the purpose than the
subject of " The Surrender of Breda " which modified
the art of Velasquez, and made it akin to the work of
a Venetian. The canvas was to serve as a decorative
panel, a thing to be looked at as one looks at a piece
of tapestry ; hence, doubtless, its decorative flatness, its
variety of colours, its blue foundation, its brown fore-
ground, and its block-like pattern of huge chunks of
black and white and orange. It was scarcely the
business of Velasquez to compact this broad but
arbitrary illustration, explanatory of crowds and
costumes in a given situation, to adjust all this
coloured accessory, to plant this hedge of pikes and
lances against the distant landscape, to engineer the
foreground so that the legs and their enclosed spaces
might appear neither too distracting nor too utterly
THE THREE STAGES OF HIS ART 27
unlike the truth, to give some sense of space and
distance but to give it gingerly, so as to bridge the
great gulf between the main group and its back-
Yet how admirably it is done. Compare its stately
figures with the coarse, dumpy men in "The Repulse
of the English at Cadiz," by Eugenio Caxesi. Caxesi
follows his colleague Velasquez in his idea of colour,
and in his view of the contending claims of open-air
effect, decorative unity and historical fulness. But his
reliefs are hard and even, his blocks of colour unfused,
his drawing clumsy, and his whole picture duller, more
spotty, and less arranged than "The Surrender of
Breda." In colouring, in suavity of effect, that great
Velasquez compares with any Titian. Its principal
figures stand with as noble a bearing as any in painting.
Spinola and Justin meet each other with gestures so
poignant in expression, that they almost compel the
nerves to involuntary imitation. Something of this
dramatic aptness of gesture enlivens the series of large
decorative panels which Rubens painted for the Luxem*
bourg Palace. But the figures in the "Reception of
Marie de Medicis" abound in courtliness and pomp,
while the conqueror and the conquered of Breda, with
a more human though a decently ceremonious stateli-
ness, act out two of the most trying circumstances of
life. The figures form the knot of an admirable com-
position, but this central interest is rather prepared
by studied artifice than made important by the effect
of a focussed impression. Hence one is able to look
at "The Surrender of Breda" and imagine the centre
cut out, and yet the chief sentiments of the picture
preserved. The dignity of the two figures would be
scarcely impaired by the omission of surroundings
which, however well put in, yet exist for the purposes
of illustrative and decorative arrangement
Turn now to " Las Meninas," on the opposite wall.
What a rounded vision swims in upon your eye, and
occupies all the nervous force of the brain, all the
effort of sight upon a single complete visual impression.
One may look long before it crosses one's mind to
think of any colour scheme, of tints arbitrarily con-
trasted or harmonised, of masses balanced, of lines
opposed or cunningly interwoven, of any of the tricks
of the metier, however high and masterlike. The art
of this thing, for it is full of art, is done for the
first time, and so neither formal nor traditional. The
admiration this picture raises is akin to the excitement
caused by natural beauty; thought is suspended by
something alike yet different from the enchantment
of reality. This is not the reality obtained by the pre-
Raphaelite exploration of nature, which builds up a
scene bit by bit, like the map of a new continent
The pre-Raphaelite painter realises the result of his
separate observations no more than a geographer
engaged on the survey of an unknown coast He
will not conceive of his picture as a big pattern which
produces detail; he compiles a great many separate
details, and accepts, though he has not designed, the
ensemble which they happen to produce. Now the
ensemble of "Las Meninas" has been perceived in
some high mood of impressionability, and has been
imaginatively kept in view during the course of after-
study. The realism of this picture is a revelation of
the way the race has felt a scene of the kind during
thou3ands of years. The unconscious habit of the
THE THREE STAGES OF HIS ART 29
eye, in estimating the relative importance of colours,
forms, definitions, masses, sparkles, is revealed to us
by the unequalled sensitiveness of this man's eyesight.
From our present point of view "The Topers" is
even less real than "The Surrender of Breda." It
belongs to a lower order of generalisation. The mind
that conceived it failed to grasp it except by successive
acts of imagination. Its parts obey a purely formal
instead of an impressional unity. The composition
was, of course, designed to make a single pattern as
to lines and masses, but the scene, with its modelling,
colouring, atmosphere, and definitions, was never beheld
as a whole vision in the mind's eye. Velasquez rose,
I think, in " The Surrender of Breda," to a higher art
than he had dreamed of before he went to Italy. He
reached at least a decorative unity, though doubtless in
so doing he sacrificed the poignancy of " The Topers,"
which is due to a succession of climaxes. Each head
is as strong as the best pair of eyes in the world could
make it If you can call it the highest art to take a
number of powerfully - studied heads and sew them
together to make a group, then "The Topers" is as
fine a picture as you want But the unity of a work
of art should be organic and pervasive, like the blood
in a man's veins, which is carried down to his very
As an art grows, everything that enters it becomes
absorbed more and more into its constitution, and
becomes a feature in a living organic unity. With
the growth of music, composers felt the need of a
more logical principle of unity, than a mere succession
of separate phrases and climaxes ; and as painting
developed, painters began to comprehend other and
more vital means of picture -making than the use of
compelling lines and a formal composition. They had
learnt that strong points in a picture kill each other,
and that force in art is an affair of relation. They
were to learn that there is a realistic as well as a
decorative meaning in different breadths of treatment
The relative space and finish which a nose might
arrogate to itself in a single head, must suffice for a
whole face in a figure group, if due proportion and a
reasonable width of view are to be preserved. A can-
vas should express a human outlook upon the world,
and so it should represent an area possible to the
attention; that is, it should subtend an angle of vision
confined to certain natural limits of expansion. Now,
to group two or more studies of figures in order to fill
a larger canvas, either commits the painter to a wider
angle of vision, and consequently a more distributed
attention, or else it compels him to paint his group as
if it were removed from him far enough to subtend
only the same angle as the single figure of one of his
previous studies. Let him choose either alternative,
and either way a difference of treatment is forced upon
him. This is a point which demands serious study on
the realistic grounds of perspective, modelling, colour,
and definition; but for the present it is sufficient to
settle it upon the merely decorative ground of com-
plexity of pattern. If a certain proportion of cutting
up recommends itself as beautiful and effective in any
one sketch or study, then unquestionably a compilation
of such studies must be a false method of composing
a large canvas. The large canvas should not express
a larger angle of sight than the small one. In a word,
the cutting up of a canvas beaars a ratio to the size of
THE THREE STAGES OF HIS ART 31
the canvas, and not to the square foot of space. So
that you may enlarge a one-foot sketch, but you may
not compile nine one-foot studies to make a three-foot
picture. Whether you compile actual separate sketches
on one canvas, or merely paint parts of that canvas
under different impressions, the fault is the same.
If there is anything in this unity of impression,
"The Topers" is not the best picture in the world.
We may point to its prevailing tone of chocolate, and
its hard, staring, too equal force of definition, both
faults the result of compiled observations. Certainly,
each head is a marvel of handling, of modelling, of
character, but has this handling or this modelling any
beautiful dependence on a great impression, or, as in
"Las Meninas," any relation to the whole view em-
braced by the eye? On the contrary, one of those
family arrangements in which several heads are sepa-
rated by beadings, almost equally deserves the name
of a picture. A Dutch portrait group, at any rate,
claims quite an equal rank in the hierarchy of art
Rembrandt's "Anatomy Lesson," Hals's and Van der
Heist's figure groups, are on the same plane of realism,
although some of them may be less powerfully executed
than " The Topers/'
Only a large mind takes a large view of a subject,
and not without effort, too, whether the matter in ques-
tion concerns art, philosophy, or practical life. For
instance, the ordinary amateur of music likes short
phrasing and a jerky emphasis, which makes the most
of every accent, while the ordinary connoisseur com-
prehends and relishes the cheaper realism of the Dutch
masters, but cannot easily grasp the broader truths of
Velasquez. Small facts, shown by hard detail and
strong, frequent contrast, are more easily perceived
than the action of a principle which governs a whole
scene. To many the finesse of Velasquez seems weak-
ness, his atmosphere poor colour, his sense of natural
arrangement, bad composition. These admirers of the
Dutch realists would doubly admire Velasquez, if they
could learn to see that he was not only cleverer but
more sincere than Terburg, Metzu, Gerard Dow, Nicolas
Maas, or Van Ostade. These connoisseurs may not
question the beauty of reality or the dignity of tech-
nique, but the first they assimilate only in little pieces,
while they perceive only the immediate issues of the
second. Quite another objector to Velasquez is the
man who says, " What greatness is there in portraiture,
and in the painting of common life, what can there
be beyond 'mere technique'?" For the moment we
may bid him look again at the exquisite human feeling
of "Las Meninas." Could the gracious attitudes of
these bending maids, the calm born pride of the Infanta,
the solemn gravity of the environment, speak more
eloquently to us if this were an Adoration of some-
body by an early and religious Italian? No, truly;
but the mind of the literary objector, which will not
obey the suggestion of paint, would then find itself,
under the more familiar impulsion of words, running
in an accustomed rut Indeed, there is nothing lost
in " Las Meninas " of the natural forms, profound ex-
pression, and beautiful human sentiment of the Italian
pre-Raphaelites, while everything is gained in the way
of a natural mystery of light, a true impressional
unity of aspect, and a splendid perfection of technical
resources. Nothing that art has ever won is wanting
here unless it, be composition by line, the charm of
THE THREE STAGES OF HIS ART 33
the nude figure, and the rhythmic swirl of Raphael's
drawing. No great man is separable from his tech-
nique, and the difference between two great men lies
largely in a difference of technique, for technique is
truly the language of the eye. So that it may not be
amiss now to speak of the technique of Velasquez that
is to say, of his composition, modelling, colour, and
handling. We have already compared three of his
pictures, " The Topers," a work of youth ; " The Sur-
render of Breda," a work of middle age ; and " Las
Meninas," painted near the end of his life. In examin-
ing the technique of Velasquez we shall refer to these
works, and shall describe others as occasion may arise.
THE DIGNITY OF TECHNIQUE
IT is not the lover of pictures, but the devotee of his
own spiritual emotions who needs to be told that tech-
nique is art ; that it is as inseparable from art as features
from facial expression, as body from soul in a world
where force and matter seem inextricably entangled.
In fact, the man who has no interest in technical
questions has no interest in art ; he loves it as those
love you who profess only love for your soul. The
concert-goers who disclaim any technical interest in
music will be found to like a performance because
they forget it in trains of thought about scenery,
morals, or poetry. But one may walk on the hills to
become healthy or to escape crowds, and yet deserve
no suspicion of a fondness for beauty. Under a
mistaken conception of culture as the key of all the
arts and sciences, intellectual people too often feel
obliged to pretend an interest in arts for which they
have no natural inclination. They insufficiently
distinguish men born to take pleasure in the abstract
and speculative from those born to love the concrete
and sensuous the black-and-white from the coloured
mind. They cannot believe that the least taught
ploughman whose senses are in tune with the pulse
of nature may make a better artist than the man of
THE DIGNITY OF TECHNIQUE 35
loftiest thought who is encased in nerves insensitive
to the quality of musical intervals or the character
of shapes and colours. The man of abstract mind
apprehends great ideas presented in the abstract
medium of literature, but in the concrete of painting
he is easily deceived by associations with words into
spending his admiration on mean forms, on foolish
labour, on purposeless colour. He looks at the merest
pretence of modelling, at the coarsest sham of colour-
ing, at the contradiction of the whole by the part,
at the burial of beauty in niggling, and his dull eyes
accept the imposture on the recommendation of his
The "apostles of culture" grant but one gift
intellect to many-sided man, and accord but one
faculty of imagination to the dweller in a house whose
various windows look down five separate avenues of
sense. Often some of these windows are blocked,
and so many men must misunderstand each other's
reports of the external world, but the man of culture
too often keeps no window clean, and from a dark
chamber of the mind would explain to everyone else
the true inner meaning of what they see. It is this
prophet that despises technique because technique
differs as the material of each art differs differs as
marble, pigments, musical notes and words differ.
He hates matter; because owing to matter the im-
agination in each art is a gift whose absence cannot
be compensated for either by one of the other imagina-
tions or by the abstract intellect itself. Imagination
in words is not imagination in colour or form, as the
cases of Turner and Goethe amply prove. Without
matter there is no art; without matter there is no
3 6 VELASQUEZ
stuff in which imagination may create an imaga
Sentiment is not imagination; spirituality is not
artistic feeling. We all cry, laugh, and put on airs;
we do not all imagine occasions and fashions of cry-
ing, laughing, and striking attitudes. We feel the
excitement of a street fight, yet we cannot all come
home and image that excitement as Dinet did in " Une
Bagarre," with its tempestuous pattern of uplifted
hands and swaying bodies quivering in an uncer-
tain flicker of shadows and windy lamplight It is
a sensitiveness to the special qualities of some visible
or audible medium of art which distinguishes the
species artist from the genus man. We are all spirits ;
it is not in spirituality that the painter differs from
us, but in that sensitive perception of visible char-
acter which enables him to imagine a picture all of
a piece, all tending to express the same sentiment,
all instinct and alive with feeling. Moreover, any
difference that may exist between the material bases
of the arts, exacts a corresponding difference between
the qualities of temperament and imagination in the
artists who practise them, also between the aims that
are legitimate to the various arts, and between the
feelings and laws by which works are to be judged
and admired. Arts such as painting and sculpture,
that appeal to the eye and display their contents
simultaneously, differ vastly from those that unfold
their matter to the ear In sequence. Painting and
sculpture differ between themselves more slightly,
and there is still less difference between pictures,
whether realistic or decorative in aim, whether
worked in oil or water, tint or line, monochrome or
PHILIP IV AS A SPORTSMAN
THE DIGNITY OF TECHNIQUE 37
An art of space scarcely differs more from an art
of time than one used purely from one mitfed with
representation of life, with utility or with symbolism.
There is only one quite pure art namely, symphonic
music. Every shade of the complicated emotion in
a symphony by Beethoven depends entirely upon tech-
nique that is to say, upon the relations established
amongst notes which are by themselves empty of all
significance. The materials of other arts are more or
less embarrassed in application by some enforced de-
pendence on life. Words, since they serve as fixed
counters or symbols, cannot be wholly wrenched from
a determined meaning and suggestion; architecture
satisfies a need of common life as well as an aesthetic
craving, and painting not only weaves a purely decora-
tive pattern, but also pretends to imitate the appearance
of the world. None of these arts tranquilly pursue
the beauties intrinsic to their medium ; none circle in
their orbit undisturbed; all upon examination appear
to be, as it were, double stars, linked like Algol to a
I might sum these statements in one or two prin-
ciples. First, Art is not Life; for life is first-hand
passionate emotion, while art deals with emotion
second-hand, retrospective and disinterested. Life is
variable, and a mixture of all materials space, time,
sound, colour, form, etc. ; art is limited, partially con-
trollable by the artist, and comparatively permanent
Second, Sentiment is not Imagination ; for sentiment
precedes art, and is common to all men, while imagina-
tion is a special power to arrange the material of some
art in harmony with a mood, Third, There are as
many separate faculties of imagination as there are
3 8 VELASQUEZ
separate mediums in which to conceive an image-
clay, words, paint, notes of music. Fourth^ The
materials of the arts may be used with a double aim,
or solely for their own direct and immediate qualities
as notes and intervals in music, which derive their
character solely from the relations in which the artist
chooses to place them ; they have no fixed meaning,
and a dominant and a tonic are interchangeable.
Our faith in any art reposes, however, upon the
belief that its material, even if unavoidably adulterated
with foreign significations, is nevertheless as capable
as the sounds of music of expressing character in
virtue of artistic arrangement Otherwise, no medium
of expression but the symphony should deserve the
name of art Now, as paint serves both to record im-
pressions of the external world and to decorate a
given space and shape, an artist, however partial to
either, must give some measure of attention to each
of these aims. He must study how the eye takes in
nature, and how it takes pleasure in a canvas ; and he
must learn to reconcile these two ways of seeing when
they disagree, as they sometimes may. When you
look at nature, nothing remains absolutely fixed in
appearance. Size, colour, pattern, and proportion seem
to fluctuate as you change your point of view, move
your focus, widen or narrow your angle of vision. No
object seems big but by relation to a smaller, no
mass simple except when viewed as a whole in con-
trast to another, and no tone so bright that a brighter
cannot make it dark* But when you see forms and
colours set in the one plane of a picture, confined to
its scale of pigment, and permanently bounded in size,
proportion, and place by its four obstinate sides, then
THE DIGNITY OF TECHNIQUE 39
you see them fixed in unalterable relations, and always
bound to express one and the same point of view.
The laws by which one pictures an effect on the flat
consequently differ from those that regulate ordinary
sight Many collocations of form or colour that please
in a sunlit space of three dimensions with fluctuating
borders become intensely disagreeable in a flat, framed
panel. When he leaves nature for art, a man leaves
bright boundless space where he has no dominion for
a dark cloistered place where he is master master of
a medium susceptible of arrangement by harmony,
contrast, and gradation; master to make his material
speak in character, follow a vein of sentiment, express
a mood of seeing. But he must learn to obey what,
for want of a better word, one may call the laws of
Plainly, then, there are two interests to be recon-
ciled in a picture, the facts and impressions of nature
on one hand, and, on the other, the beauties and
exigencies of the framed pictorial world A modus
vivendi must be established between the imitative
and the decorative, and the compact between these
two may be called the convention of the art of paint-
ing. To object to the conventionality of art is to
believe in absolute realism, which, if possible, would
be a science and not an art As things are, when you
merely draw a line on an empty canvas you commit
yourself to art, for you have given the line a positive
character by placing it in some relation to the four
sides of the canvas. To show a line quite uncondi-
tioned or uncomposed, one would require a canvas
without limits that is to say, nature. Convention, then,
there must be, but it need not be rigid ; it may vary
with the impressions of artists, with the facts of nature,
and with the characters of the mediums employed.
The introduction of perspective, for instance, was a
notable change in the convention of painting, since
it implied a limitation in the use of our general know-
ledge of an object to what can be seen from one
point of view. Different readings of the convention
by men of genius give rise to various styles of paint-
ing, and successively attach a varying importance to
the elements of technique as they deal with ideal
form or real form, local colour or atmospheric, detail
or general aspect.
This description of technique, compressed as it is
of necessity, is intended for those who hate "mere
technique" and despise "matter." Matter does not
level man with the beast or the stone; technique is
not hateful, but only the point of view it expresses.
There is a silly, unimpassioned mind which looks on
nature without choice between things, which seems
choked with trifles, which possesses no touchstone in
its emotions wherewith to distinguish the important
from the foolish. There may be such a thing as
mere technique, but it is not what the vituperator of
realism would have it In words, it is nonsense verses ;
in paint, mere decorative consistency, without the
meaning or emotion of truth to nature.
Technique in painting, then, must be understood as
the method of using any medium of expression so as
to bring out the character of a decorative pattern, or
to convey the sentiment with which you regard some
appearances of the external world. The two aims
become one when the decorative pattern to be en-
forced is suggested by the mood in which you happen
ADRIAN PULIDO PAREJA
THE DIGNITY OF TECHNIQUE 41
to look at your motif. If this be granted, then tech-
nique is as important to an art as the body to man.
Both of them appear and act for two hidden question-
able partners, sentiment and soul. Through them
these silent invisible partners can speak with the outer
world and influence the minds of men. When we would
infer the soul of another man or the sentiment of a
picture, we may do so only through the material
senses and their analogies.
Technique, then, is the indivisible organic body of
a man's conceptions, and cannot be rightly appre-
hended when studied in fragments. Yet, since the
exigency of words forces us to present things in
sequence, we must separate these living parts, and, as
it were, dissect them dead. This necessity we will
face, and will look separately at the qualities of
Velasquez's technique such as composition, colour,
modelling, and brushwork.
THE COMPOSITION OF VELASQUEZ
WHEN he composed a picture Velasquez no longer
relied altogether upon the arrangement by line or by
colour blocks of the older masters; and when he
drew anything it was not according to rule of thumb,
canon of proportion, or even according to the later
acquired knowledge of anatomy. He drew, as modern
painters draw, almost entirely by eye, so that one
thing was not more difficult to him to see rightly than
another, and no receipts for representing thumbs, nails,
curls, or other whole objects can be detected in his
work. He wished any scene that he looked at in
nature to be so treated in art as to express the quality
and the distribution of the attention it had received
from him in real life. Only thus could he hope to
record the personal impressions which were his chief
interest in the world. For this reason he did not
look upon himself so much as an embroiderer of given
spaces as a trimmer of spaces to fit given impressions.
Perhaps the two ideas are comparable to the European
and Japanese notions of dressing. Hence Velasquez
when he painted nature held to no superstition con-
cerning the accepted places for strong points in a
canvas. Here was a scene which had imposed on
him a certain impression of its character, and this
THE COMPOSITION OF VELASQUEZ 43
view he felt bound to express by a shape of canvas
that would compose the scene as he had felt it If,
for instance, the emotion of the scene had come from
distributing the attention over a vertical direction, he
must have an upright canvas, even in a figure group
like "Las Meninas." This was because to render the
group as it had struck him it was necessary to
surround it with a certain sense of aerial gloomy
space, comparatively empty of incident, but not of
That same intention is manifested in Rembrandt's
"Supper at Emmaus" in the Louvre. The towering
canopy of the darkened vaults which overhangs the
dimly -lit flickering table and the wavering figures
completes the impressional unity of the composition
and heightens the solemnity of the sentiment I have
often looked at "The Marriage at Cana in Galilee,"
by Veronese, in the Louvre, but could never feel that
the big space above the figures was connected with
them in any but the most formal manner. These
pillared galleries of marble, opening to the blue sky,
although they are incidents in the composition of the
"Marriage at Cana," scarcely seem to effect the mood
in which the artist regards his figure group. They
add no meaning to the general aspect of the group,
they cause no exaltation or depression of sentiment,
they affect the breadth of treatment not one whit, they
operate in no way upon the value of colours or the
comparative strength of definition. Therefore they
are a mere literary or explanatory note telling us that
the scene took place in certain surroundings, but not
affecting the internal treatment or sentiment of the
figure group. On the other hand, the vast gloomy
top of "Las Meninas," the empty foreground of a
Whistlerian etching, or the darkness of a mysterious
Rembrandt forms an essential part of a picture and
controls the force of colours and definitions, explains
the lighting and emphasises the character of the sen-
timent which invests the figures. In fact, the surround-
ings of such pictures are as much part of the
impression as the figures themselves; whereas it is
impossible to say that the figures in the Veronese have
been painted any differently owing to the presence of
their surroundings or that they have been conceived as
they would be seen in such a field of sight
Modern painters have become quite accustomed
to 'cutting and composing a scene in the interests
of an impression rather than for the sake of mere
decorative consistency. Yet each time that this
necessity has led them out of the path of custom,
especially when it led also outside of established
decorative conventions, the public have wondered
and have cried out at the eccentricity. It was so
when Manet used a high horizon above the picture.
It was so when Whistler left more than half his
canvas, this time the lower half, bare and un-
peopled by incident Most people failed to perceive
that it is sometimes impossible otherwise to show
the difference between an object far off subtending
a small angle of sight and the same object near
at hand subtending a large angle. For the sake
of dignity Corot at times consented to let this
distinction remain doubtful, but his compliance has
caused many to question the truth of his pictures,
It will be found that Velasquez, while he revealed
new truths about nature, scarcely ever forgot that
THE COMPOSITION OF VELASQUEZ 45
a picture must be a dignified piece of decoration.
But he certainly sought to attain beauty by methods
somewhat unlike those employed by his predecessors.
Velasquez decorates a space by the use of tone
more than any painter before him. Had Titian
seen "Las Meninas" he might have found the space
filled inaptly, as far as line goes, by a row of heads
crushed down into the bottom of an empty canvas.
And truly if you made a drawing in line after the
picture for Mr Blackburn it would appear a poor
composition. Even in a photograph "Las Meninas"
loses its rank among pictures, while on the contrary
the illustrated catalogues of modern exhibitions fre-
quently exalt a canvas to a position which its real
execution cannot maintain. Such pictures are often
the work of illustrators that is, of men who con-
ceive a composition in black and white, and, in
painting, lose or bury their original idea in new and
irrelevant detail. "Las Meninas" was imagined
altogether as it exists in tone and colour ; it was
seen in fact by the tache, to use a word of the early
Impressionists, and the vision of it was not trans-
lated into those lines which, if you remember,
Delacroix neither saw in nature nor wished to
consider the sole source of beauty in art
An old master made all his space alive with a
swirl of flowing lines or built it compact like a
monument with blocks of balanced colour. Immense
chunks of red, blue, orange white, brown, etc., are
fitted into each other as if they were the separate
pieces of a puzzle. On this system each area of
colour may require a different and separate process
of working to secure the quality of its tint or to
engage it in a semblance of chiaroscuro and effect
Such preoccupations hamper the attainment of any
unity except of line, of artificial harmony between
darks and lights, of decorative contrast between
colours. Indeed, of the mysteries and beauties of
true tone which Velasquez explored in the heart of
nature, and deemed proper to touch man's emotional
habits, these old men were comparatively ignorant,
or, if they had an inkling of such things, they
thought them altogether beside the question of art.
The old masters' drawings, their numerous' and care-
ful cartoons, their very few notes of general effect,
show their inborn love of space-filling 'by lines and
definitely woven patterns. Their problem always
being to fit the given space, they seldom sew pieces
on to their canvases as Velasquez has done in
many of his best pictures.
The life-size portrait of Philip IV. in armour and
on horseback (Prado, 1066) is a notable example of
this practice. To each side of the canvas a strip three
or four inches wide has been sewn, while, on the canvas
itself, the pushing up of older contours reveals much
correction and change of outline. This increase of the
canvas by strips sewn on, common enough in the
pictures of Velasquez, makes one think that he differed
from his contemporaries in the way he set to work.
You rarely meet with this habit amongst the men of
the older decorative schools. They planned their
picture beforehand, and approached it from a previous
composition carefully calculated to occupy and decorate
the given space. It seems possible that Velasquez
began a picture in quite another spirit; that he con-
ceived of it rather as an ensemble of tone than as a
PHILIP IV ON HORSEBACK
THE COMPOSITION OF VELASQUEZ 47
pattern of lines and tints. Unlike the older decorative
artists, Velasquez has left few drawings. Probably he
dashed in the main centre of the impression, and upon
filling and darkening the rest of the canvas found
sometimes that the centre required more elbow-room.
In the Equestrian Philip the strips are not added to
introduce any new feature or in any way to induce a
change of place in the figure to one side or the other.
They seem added simply to let the figure play in the
centre of a larger field. The dignity, the quality, the
sense of artistry in the presentation of a thing depends
very much upon its proportion to surroundings. So
much around it, no more and no less, seems necessary
to secure that it be seen under the conditions of sight
which produced an impression on the painter, and
which therefore must be reproduced to justify his
treatment of the picture. It might be worth someone's
time to inquire into the sewing together of these
canvases, to hunt out some reason in eac case, to
unearth any half-buried tradition bearing- on the
question. The main point seems to be that while
unusual amongst the older men this habit is common
enough amongst the moderns of whom Velasquez was
If you walk outside of Madrid upon the bare slopes
facing the Sierras, you may see the reality which
underlies the Equestrian Portraits. Sit low down on
the ground and you will have this same bare burnt
foreground; should a figure pass, you will see the
heavy blue of the distant hills low down behind its
legs, while its head towers up into a cloudy sky.
What he saw was endeared to Velasquez, and the
arrangement of any one of his pictures carries with
it the recollection of some actual occasion of sight
It is so with his portraits and with his subject-pictures.
The two Philosophers, JEsop and Moenippus, stand
as they might have stood scores of times in any room.
Just so much space surrounds them as naturally falls
under the eye ; it is of the shape that best befits
their shape, and it is furnished with accessory of no
busier or more defined complication than the character
of the impression demands. The canvases in these two
portraits are remarkably tall and narrow, the heads in
them almost touch the top of the frame, the colour
is dark grey and atmospheric, while the general tone
seems to bathe everything in a nuanced depth of
distance and air. The aspect of the pictures in style
and composition recalls many of Mr Whistler's tall
dark portraits wrapped in the mystery of gloomy
interiors. Truth is the introducer that bids these two
men shake hands across several centuries.
Velasquez you may say was never wantonly unusual ;
and, astonishing as his compositions may have looked
to conventionalists, they appear to us to-day no more
unnatural than nature, and much more natural than
many modern experiments in art In the arrangement
of a picture by Velasquez there is always some intention
to give the flavour of a particular impression, but at
the same time a great effort to preserve the sane every-
day aspect of nature. The fitting of a figure to its
space always corresponds to the way it is supposed to
be looked at, to the distance at which it is supposed
to be seen, and to the number and complication of the
accessories which share the dominion of the canvas.
True, in his early work, such as " The Adoration of the
Kings" (Prado, 1054), or even in the later " Topers"
EL CONDE-DUQUE DE OLIVAREZ
THE COMPOSITION OF VELASQUEZ 49
and "The Forge of Vulcan," Velasquez appears to
compel things into unreasoned relation to each other,
but this is the result of that realism which overlooks
the general aspect of a view and studies the appear-
ances of its separate parts. Composition in such a
case cannot be said to influence the whole treatment
of a canvas, but only its formal outlines, Drawing,
modelling, definition of detail, balance of emptiness
and fulness are determined in their character by
successive study of pieces of the picture instead of
by a comprehensive view of the whole subject The
faults induced by such technique are hardness, con-
fusion, spottiness, and the sacrifice of the mystery of
enveloping air and light to petty markings and exag-
gerated spots of local colouring. It will be seen that
hardness, confusion, and spottiness can be corrected
by the sole influence of a noble decorative ideal, and
that the unrealistic combinations of Veronese, Titian,
Rubens and others are free from these defects. Yet
their pictures cannot pretend to express fully the more
subtle mysteries of real light or to render an impression
of the whole aspect of an actual scene upon a painter's
When we are absorbed in the work of any great
man whose art happens to express our own feelings,
a natural and not unseemly enthusiasm leads us to
set him high above all other artists; but in calmer
moments we admit no comparison between men who
use technique to express quite different moods, senti-
ments, and perceptions. You may as well compare
Milton and Praxiteles as Beethoven and Palestrina.
Tonality is not more potent and far-reaching in its
effect upon modern music than real lighting upon the
arrangement of a picture. Both can steep the common-
place in mystery, can flash a new meaning into old
forms, can supersede worn-out conventions, can electrify
a dead passage, can sustain and bind together a whole
composition. Tone in a picture and tone in music
may not be better than the older methods of com-
position, but they awake quite different feelings in
the mind, and so it is difficult to like the clarity of
Palestrina and the rich emotional tempest of Beethoven
on the same evening, or to equally appreciate in the
same gallery the close solemn tissue of a Velasquez
and the arbitrary loosely-hung harmonies of the older
schools. The Prado contains some noble canvases
by Titian, Rubens, Van Dyck, Tintoretto and others,
but to an eye that has dwelt long on the subtle
nuances of a Velasquez, they seem to fall to pieces
or to be held together only by the most palpable
harmonic artifice. Yet there is art enough stowed
away in " Las Meninas," as becomes evident when an
engraver stumbles over the hidden pitfalls that lie
concealed beneath its suave surface. Touch one of
these many straight lines too firmly, miss the nuancing
of its accents, or tighten a detail of face or costume,
and "some shrieking definition jumps at you like a
When you fail to grasp the ensemble of a Velasquez,
when you miss its profound and touching truth, you
can fall back on little else save a few disjointed facts
of common realism. The art of the thing escapes you
as the art of a Beethoven symphony escapes the man
who only catches hold of occasional tag-ends of tunes
hanging out of a preposterous and tangled coil of
THE DWARF "EL PRIMO
THE COMPOSITION OF VELASQUEZ 51
Compared with those of Rubens, for instance, the
pictures of Velasquez may seem grey, gloomy^ and
empty, especially if one should be in that sensuous
mood which pardons everything for the sake of sump-
tuous decoration. Let us think of a Rubens in the
National Gallery, "The Rape of the Sabines," that
flush-tide of the richest colour, which positively seems
to boil up in swirling eddies of harmonious form. Its
whole surface is swept by lines which rush each other
on like the rapid successive entrances of an excited
strettO) till the violent movement seems to undulate
the entire pattern of the picture. Certainly examina-
tion proves the feeling due rather to decorative repeti-
tions of line than to really striking actions in the
separate figures, yet the mind that has been possessed
by this miracle of agitation may well find "Las
Meninas " cold, empty, and stiffly arranged. The colour
of Velasquez we must leave .alone for the present, but
the exquisite precision and the eloquent breadth of the
figures in "Las Meninas " surely weigh against the
attractions of a decorative consistency in the flow of
lines. The breathing of these young figures in their
stiff clothes, the quality of their flesh, the gait and bear-
ing of them, the admirable adjustment of the right lines
of this grave chamber in the old palace, legitimately
appeal to the eye by an interest of true pictorial art
The arrangement of this group, which extends into
depth and darkness, shows exactly how it was felt in
relation to its surroundings. These fields of vibrating
space, this vast shadowed top, wonderfully modelled as
it recedes from the eye, are no more empty and useless
around the figures than landscape itself, which was so
long withheld as uninteresting wasted space. The rule
was and still is that every space must co-operate in the
effect, but not necessarily by lines, agitated colours, arid
defined forms. True, it may take one some time to
understand the part played by the top half of "Las
Meninas," but when one knows its gradations it appears
as grand a setting as the Alps.
When you are penetrated by the solemn statement
of "Las Meninas," even "The Surrender of Breda"
seems full of a rhetorical if noble chattering, and to
pass from a fine Velasquez to any of the Italian
pictures at the Prado is to see them at great dis-
advantage. Not even "The Assumption," by Titian
(Academy, Venice), or "The Transfiguration," by
Raphael (Vatican, Rome), will quite content those
who want an art that fits the eye, who prefer a natural
and organic composition to a grand assemblage of
poses, draperies, wagging beards, contorted limbs, and
sweeping decorative lines. Few are the pictures that
show a unity embracing colour, definition, modelling,
and tone as well as line the unity of purpose that
we find iii "The Last Supper" of Leonardo, in "Las
Hilanderas," "The Venus," and "Las Meninas," in
some Rembrandts, and in one or two works of recent
and living painters. " The Transfiguration " of Raphael
could well bear translation into line, but no one will
pretend that its chiaroscuro is affecting and mysterious,
or its colour bound together by any principle beyond
juxtaposition, repetition, and the compulsion of
harmonious line. Its upper part, moreover, has no
connection with its lower, except through symbolism,
"The Assumption," by Titian, although glorious in
the power of its colour and the magnitude of Jts
execution, scarcely answers to the finest ideal of
THE COMPOSITION OF VELASQUEZ 53
picture-making. As a composition it is too patently
broken into three parts. The upper group of the
Father and Angels seems quite divided from the rest
of the canvas, and in itself too dark, too distinctly
cut out, too poorly enwrapped, and altogether too
unmysterious. The picture, indeed, pleases one better
when the upper part is shaded out by the hand, and
the top of the canvas is imagined to die out in mystery.
As I was looking at it, I heard a lady say that it
was a fine picture, but worldly, and that she did not
like that great red figure in the front This sounds
ridiculous, as, if one dislikes the red drapery, one
cannot like the picture, of which it is the very heart
and vitals, yet without doubt her statement had some
meaning. Probably the sense of worldliness came from
the hard definition of the top part, and the dislike of
the gorgeous red and black harmony from the sacrifice
of all subtleties of tone which such an explosion of
To put all this in as few words as possible, it may be
said that Velasquez uses tone as an important element
in his composition; that, in fact, he utilises the ex-
pression of space as well as the expression of form to
give character to his picture. This is seen in the
modelled depths of space that encase and permeate
" Las Meninas," The Spinners," Mr Morritt's " Venus,"
the "^Esop," the "Moenippus," and the so-called
"Maria Teresa" (Prado, 1084). These we may call
impressionistic compositions, while the earlier works,
"Adoration of the Kings," " The Topers," " The Forge
of Vulcan," and others, we may call, in contradis-
tinction, realistic, "The Adoration of the Kings" is
opaque and dark, without a sense of space, either in
the quality of the colour or in the arrangement of the
picture. There is no room in its crowded composition,
and there is no aerial suppleness in its tight lines
and its comparatively small and hard modelling of
surfaces. The pictures of Velasquez's middle life, as
I have said, are decorative in aim, and the equestrian
portraits of Philip IV., Olivares, and Don Balthasar
resemble " The Surrender of Breda." The composition
of these is very much freer and broader than that
of the early pictures. Indeed, the canvases of this
time are the only pictures which show anything of
that scarcely definable air of pose and make-up which
one expects in the true "Old Master." The hard,
clumsy, over-detailed patterns of the dresses in the
large equestrian portraits of Philip III. and his wife
Queen Margaret (Prado, 1064 and 1065) which might
seem exceptions, are not the work of Velasquez. He
found these portraits already executed, and merely
touched them up in his own broader and more vigorous
style. The pattern of the queen's dress is plastered
in with little regard to the perspective of folds or the
changing value of lights. It is interesting to compare
its awkwardness in the composition with the beauti-
ful ease of patterns worked by Velasquez himself, as,
for instance, those in "Maria Teresa" (1084), or in
the Dwarf with a large dog. The queen's dress is
worked in the mechanically detailed style of work,
which can be seen in pictures by Sanchez Coello and
other predecessors of Velasquez.
From what has been already said, backed by a glance
at the illustrations to this book, it may be seen that
Velasquez relied very seldom upon parallelism of lines,
whirlpools of curves leading the eye to a centre^ or*
THE SCULPTOR MARTINEZ MONTANEZ
ALSO CALLED ALONSO CANO
THE COMPOSITION OF VELASQUEZ 55
indeed, upon any other of the many traditional re-
sources of composition. But it would be narrow-
minded to blame either the composers by line or the
composers by spot Different ends justify different
means in each case, and, moreover, composers, like
cooks, although they have principles, apply them ulti-
mately in practice at the dictation of taste. You
cannot easily convert people on matters of real taste
decide how much sugar they can absorb without
cloying their palates, or how much balance and sym-
metry of arrangement they can stand in a picture
without feeling sick at its artificiality. The work of
Claude affords an example of formal, rhythmic com-
position which has proved distasteful of late days to
many who still admire its colour. What is stranger
still, some lovers of Wagner now find the melody of
Mozart too formal, too simple, too evident But while
radical and physiological differences of taste unques-
tionably exist, we must not be too ready to accept
blame due to partial blindness, or mere unfamiliarity
with new conditions, as the result of an unconquerable
physical aversion. When impressionists have depicted
figures looked at from above they have been told that
their pictures were unnatural by those accustomed to
see people painted on a studio throne. But when it
was first introduced did even perspective look natural,
or did it require custom to familiarise the eye with
its curious forms? Artists should not be censured
for their admitted carelessness of publk opinion, as
the most natural view looks unfamiliar to creatures
of habit, just as to a conventional society a realistic
representation of human passions appears madness.
In $uch a matter of taste as the point at which a
canvas becomes over-spotty can one pronounce with
certainty? There is a boiling point on the ther-
mometer ; is there a cutting-up point which determines
the ratio to the area in which you may subdivide a
picture? Here are two reasons why no one can lay
down the law with assurance. First, the point of
spottiness greatly depends on whether the eye habitu-
ally takes heed consciously of a large or a small
field of vision. Second, a dangerous complexity of
detail and matter in a picture may be rendered com-
prehensible and orderly by rhythm in the design, but
then the spectator must be able to embrace the extent
and meaning of this harmonious arrangement
Velasquez relies on tone, on the magic of true light,
on delicate adjustments of proportion between masses
to unite the many figures of " The Spinners " and " Las
Meninas." As to harmonious lines, he trusts to them
in composing a picture as little as he trusts to defined
lines in his rendering of form. He never cuts up a
figure or face by lines drawn round the eyes, lips, or
other features ; he gives a sense of intimacy by grada-
tions of tone rather than by fixed contours. Thus, while
a painted Holbein differs very little in method and aim
from a Holbein drawing on white paper, a picture by
Velasquez belongs altogether to another branch of art
Harmonious line may often cover bad composition
of tone, colour, or mass, just as the wonderful tone
of Velasquez may at times dignify very ordinary
line. For instance, the line weavers constantly fun
two or three pictures into one frame, so that if
you neglect their lines their composition-masses of
tone appear meaningless and spotty. If a painter
looks at one corner of the canvas exclusively he is apt
THE COMPOSITION OF VELASQUEZ 57
to put a smaller frame round it mentally, and so make
a fresh set of composition masses out of what was
only the subordinate detail of the original motif. Of
this fault Velasquez, at least in his later work, is
Within the scope of Velasquez's own work, and
even of his later work, the difference between Italian
traditional composition and the new impressionistic
composition may be easily illustrated. The "Corona-
tion of the Virgin " (Prado, 1056) is arranged upon
the system of balanced blocks of colour and har-
monious play of lines. But I have no doubt that even
in this picture a purist in old mastery would object
to the direction of the cherub's wings, which point out
of the picture and downwards, instead of in and up-
wards. A man who composes best by tone abandons
nature at some peril, when, as here, he undertakes to
show purely ideal circumstances.
In the case of "Las Meninas" and "The Spinners,"
Velasquez unquestionably worked from Nature. In-
deed, there is in this country a large study of "Las
Meninas," four feet wide. It belongs to Mr, Ralph
Bankes of Kingston Lacy, and only differs from
the larger picture in that the king and queen are
not reflected in the mirror at the end of the room,
beside the open door. It is generally said that
Velasquez was painting the king, who sat in the
spot from which the spectator is supposed to see the
picture of "Las Meninas." During a moment's rest
the "Infanta" came in with her attendants, and the
king was struck with the group which fell together
before his eyes. Near him he saw the princess, her
maids, her dog, and her dwarfs ; a little farther on the
left, Velasquez, who had stepped back to look at his
picture ; farther still on the right a duenna and courtier
talking; while at the distant end of the gallery the
king saw his queen and himself reflected in. a mirror,
and, through the open door, Don Joseph Nieto drawing
back a curtain. The canvas shown in the picture
would naturally be the one on which Velasquez was
painting the king's portrait Some, however, will have
it to be the very canvas of "Las Meninas," which
Velasquez was painting from a reflection in a mirror
placed near to where the king had been sitting. The
perspective in the picture hardly seems to agree with
this view, but rather makes Velasquez to have been
working on the king's right hand. It is not a matter
of importance, and the story of the conception of the
picture may easily have got mixed in the telling. It
is just possible that Velasquez was painting, or was
about to paint, a portrait of the Infanta only, when
the idea of the large picture suddenly occurred to him
or to the king. The canvas of " Las Meninas " is made
of separate pieces sewn together, and one of these just
contains the Infanta, with room for accessories or a
subordinate figure. Another tradition says that the
red cross of Santiago, which you can see on the
painter's breast, was painted there by the king's own
hand, as a promise of the honour that was to be
conferred on him afterwards.
"Las Hilanderas" (Prado, 1061), or the spinners
in the royal manufactory of tapestry, was painted later
than "Las Meninas," which it resembles in one or
two points. In both pictures the top runs up into
gloom, though the vaulted chamber of " The Spinners "
does not tower up and dominate the composition so
THE COMPOSITION OF VELASQUEZ 59
much as the upper part of "Las Meninas." Both
pictures are conceived in tone and steeped in the
mystery of light, and "The Spinners," in a higher
degree, is. cheered, in the midst of its deepest gloom,
by^afvista opening at the back into a brilliantly-
lighted space. But in "The Spinners" the texture
of illuminated and shadowed air is richer and more
varied, it clothes a greater variety of forms, it fuses a
wider variety of tints, a range of stronger local colours.
In keeping with its more lively colour scheme, the
composition lines of "The Spinners" flow more sinu-
ously and harmoniously than the rigid forms of "Las
Meninas," and the masses twine and interweave in a
more rhythmic and balanced pattern. " Las Meninas "
is graver, nobler, and more imposing, also less expected,
less formal, and less aided by artificial elegancies of
arrangement "Las Hilanderas" is more supple and
insinuating in its grace of pattern, moire enchanting,
and varied in its treatment of colour and detail.
In both pictures Velasquez is shown at his- best
He copes with the most difficult problems of modern
impressionism ; he works them out on a large scale,
and he pushes the rendering of his conception in
each case to the furthest possible completion. One
or two smaller pictures, single figures or heads, may
perhaps compare in modelling, in expression of light, or
in quality of colour, with these two great masterpieces
just mentioned, but on the score of composition not
even Mr Morritt's supple and flowing "Venus," the
"Christ at the Pillar" of our National Gallery, or
"jEsop," "Moenippus," "Maria Teresa," and others
in the Prado, can rival the importance of "Las
Meninas" and "The Spinners." It will be well,
therefore, to speak of smaller pictures after dealing
with colour and modelling, and at present to pass
on to the landscape art of Velasquez.
In this branch of painting the large upright
"Avenue of the Queen/ 1 at Aranjuez (Prado, mo),
is enough to make us proclaim Velasquez a modern
and an impressionist, when we think of the con-
temporary Claude and Poussin. The view is seen
from a height outside the avenue so that the horizon
is half way up the canvas, and the avenue occupies
only the right hand side of the picture. On the
left you see the Tagus bounded by a hedge of
distant trees, surmounted by an evening sky. This
scarcely promises much dignity of arrangement, and
yet 'the picture is fuller of grandeur and immensity
than any I can remember. The trees in two tall
towers of gloom, rise into a blue sky streaked with
floating filaments of cloud, while on the dusty road
below, coaches and .cavaliers, like a string of insects,
cross the brown empty foreground and plunge into
die deep recesses of the avenue. The canvas is a
large one for landscape, and it is treated throughout
with a breadth of style proportionate to the size of
the composition, and suitable to the implied distance
of the spectator from the frame. The manner of
seeing recalls the work of both Corot and Whistler,
though neither of these painters ever saw it In
this picture, as in his other open-air works, Velas-
quez has cut the scene out of nature in a
personal manner, so as to fit his sentiment about
the place. He has insured the harmony of smaller
details, both in tone and line, by swamping acci-
dental or contradictory forms such as the saw-like
VIEW IN THE GARDEN OF
THE VILLA MEDICI, ROME
THE COMPOSITION OF VELASQUEZ 61
edges of trees, or accidental and distracting holes
of light in the darker depths of shades. This
picture and the " Fountain of the Tritons " (Prado,
1109), another view at Aranjuez, belong to the
latest period of Velasquez's life. The fountain is
notable for the soft, feathery handling of the trees
which veil the sky; the figures seem out of scale,
and Carl Justi considers them additions by J. B.
del Mazo, son-in-law and pupil of Velasquez. Other
landscapes, such as the two finely-handled sketches
of scenes in the "Villa Medici," belong to the first
visit to Rome in 1630.
In landscapes, as in his figure-subjects, Velasquez
does not seek ideal beauties or acceptably grand,
poetic, religious, and picturesque motifs. He takes
a chunk of nature and can do without Florentine
trees, rocky hills, flowers and castles; he frames a
slice of life and foregoes hoods, halos, and the
paraphernalia of ecclesiastical sentiment The thing
that he paints has a flavour of its own; owing to
a hazard of nature, owing to an accident of the
way he himself looks, the scene charms him by the
play of light on colours, of by some subtle re-
lation among proportions which gives grandeur,
delicacy, or an air of captivating greatness.
Of many qualities possible to painting and useful in
composition, proportion is at once the most enduring
in its effect, and the most unobtrusive in its compul-
sion on the eye. Some qualities exact a strained and
conscious effort of appreciation; their full expression
in a picture demands a full attention from the spec-
tator. Now a work of art should charm us both when
we examine it and when we dream over it half-
consciously. Certain efforts of draughtsmanship, for
instance, require study, and appeal to an intelligent,
wide-awake interest in action, anatomy, and things
beyond the immediate presence of the canvas. The
subordination by harmony of complicated elements
can only be fairly enjoyed by an intellectual combined
with an intuitive operation. Mere contrast of colour
sets the nerves on the gui vive ; it challenges criticism,
it awakes the caprices of the individual taste. Balance
asks to be weighed ; geometrical relations set the spec-
tator measuring. Proportion, like a fine day, puts us
into a pleasurable frame of mind without conscious
effort on our part An unlearned man may look at a
Greek temple and be pleased without recognising it
to be a work of art He may not feel any interest in
it or any wish to examine or inquire, but his nerves
are cheered or soothed as by woods, seas, or moun-
tains. Fine proportion always seems to have grown up
naturally, it shows none of the difficulties that have been
painfully overcome, none of the snares of annoyance
that have been skilfully avoided. Proportion cannot
be done by rule ; it is experimental and intuitive, and
its effect, however potent, is unintellectual. To make
it by law is to copy mechanically. The proportions
of the Parthenon are for the Parthenon, and must be
changed for another building. Of course, space-fillers
use proportion, but oftener a more or less imitable
harmony of lines; Velasquez oftener proportion. Hence
his art is less evident, less exciting at first, and less
fatiguing afterwards. The more you know his work
the more you see in it, and what appeared the most
wonderful effort of artless realism becomes the most
consummate finesse of art
PERSONAL taste counts for much in the whole field
of art, and nowhere so much as in colour. Whether
we think of the painter or the onlooker, whether we
think of making or admiring a picture, it is equally
impossible to lay down hard and fast rules of prac-
tice, and to discriminate between good and bad with
scientific certainty. A native tendency decides for us
what kind of use we shall make of colour a differ-
ence in eyes, early habits, instinctive preferences, causes
one man to feel elation at the rich extravagance of
Venetian colour, and another man to be touched by
the natural poetry and sober dignity of a fine Velasquez.
As this is so, I need scarcely apologise for speaking of
my own feelings ; art is meaningless without personality
and its action can only be studied in its effect upon
As a child I was fond of engravings after certain
pictures, but when I saw some of the originals I was
astonished that the painter should have spoilt the
nobility of his work by staining it with unnaturally
bright and spotty colouring. The breadth and solem-
nity of the black and white had disappeared, like the
grandeur of a figure when it is tricked out in tinsel
and motley. Yet I can remember that I was pleased
with bright colour in the real world, and now I can put
my finger on some of the reasons for these apparently
inconsistent tastes. In nature a vivid tint appeared
only as a rare splash, which set off by contrast the
charm of the prevailing sheet of soft silvery iridescence,
or impalpable umbery warmth that veils and reveals
objects in the chiaroscuro of real light To show strong
colour thus governed by the tone of the ensemble is
not the same thing as to play with strong colour in
an artificial scheme of decorative harmonies, and you
may count on your fingers the men who have done
it with success. The black and white medium and the
Venetian glow, different as they are, agree in being
quite arbitrary expressions of the combined effect of
colour and light As all art is convention, I merely
mark the difference between such forms of art and
naturalism without implying anything of praise or
blame. The man who sees the world through tone,
who feels the beauty of colour mainly in its relations
to this prevailing principle of tone, cannot easily
appreciate a use of colour which neither frankly aban-
dons nature nor treats the mystery of real lighting
with poetic insight Brought up, as a boy, on Mr
Holman Hunt, Sir N. Paton, and the Scotch Academy,
I soon concluded that I congenitally disliked paint
However, in later days at Fontainebleau, I became
intimate with Auguste Ortmans, a painter to whom
the emperor had given a studio in the chateau. When
the empress was away he showed me her Corots; he
took me to see work at Barbizon ; he set me to paint
in the forest, and I learnt that colour was not neces-
sarily a blazing falsity. Then schools of art over-
whelmed me, and face to face with the difficulties of
VIEW IN THE GARDEN OF
THE VILLA MEDICI, ROME
HIS COLOUR 65
nature I was led off my legs, and, as usual, forgot
how the world really looked to me whilst I was prying
into the drawing, modelling, and local colouring of its
interesting corners. Being impressed does not imply
the imagination to recreate, otherwise we might very
much multiply the number of good artists.
There must be some who feel with me that many
bright colours of extreme chromatic difference confound
the perception of tone, and give the picture an air of
insincerity, shallow pomp, and decorative flashiness.
The solemn mystery of nature is lost for the sake of
a costumier's taste for courtly splendour.
You cannot easily bridge over the difference of
taste which leads one man to enjoy the subtle modi-
fication of colour by light, and another to revel in the
bright untrammelled play of colour used decoratively.
The decorative end may be attained gloriously and by
a triumph of art as in the case of the Venetians, but
to people of my sort it remains a triumph of artifice,
not a great victory of the emotions. We are recon-
ciled to it slowly and not until we have learnt enough
to perceive and to be awestruck by a skill which at
first escaped our ignorance. But the miracle does not
repose on the basis of our own feelings nor conciliate
the testimony of our eyes. It seems unphilosophic
and without roots in the life we lead. It cannot
touch the old associations of our race with reality, or
pull upon nerves that have been fashioned by the
emotions of a thousand generations. Now, great work
to those who make it and to those who feel a vital
sympathy with it never appears wholly decorative in
aim. In proportion to our native blindness or aver-
sion to the point of view taken, so the decorative aim
seems to preponderate over the natural or realistic.
To some men, Whistler seems to blot out nature in
arbitrary fuliginousness when he meant to coax beauty
out of the heart of what he saw. To some, Velasquez
appears to be a decorator with an unaccountable
taste for certain cold harmonies of a restrained kind,
turning upon black and grey, which he manages to
manipulate with some cleverness. To me, again, he
is nothing of the sort, and now that he has shown
me the way, I can see a Velasquez wherever I please.
To the unthinking, colour is absolute, and its quality
in every case inherent to each particular tint It is
impossible here to argue against such a conviction,
but one may point to the blue complementary shadows
on white chalk, and to the effect of coloured clothes
on people's complexions. I have observed that a piece
of coarse green pastel which made a dark mark against
the foreground grass of a freshly-painted landscape,
relieved as a light spot against the apparently blue
and ethereal sky of a Claude. Such is the power of
the relations within the range of a key. When we
call a single colour beautiful or ugly we unconsciously
compare it with the general hue of nature as a back-
It follows from the interdependence of colours and
from the compelling power of key relations, that
whether we look at imitative pictures, decorative
patterns, or natural scenes, we shall see colours differ-
ently, according as it is our habit to embrace large or
small fields of sight under one impression. You may
choose a wall-paper in bed from a two-foot pattern
close at hand, and experience some surprise when you
see it hung on an empty thirty-foot wall. So, when
HIS COLOUR 67
the primitive realist tints small separate objects by a
process as near matching as possible, we cannot wonder
that his picture, which contains some hundreds of such
matches, should look unnatural. A realist of broader
perceptions compares the effect of colour againt colour,
while the impressionist notes or imagines the general
tone of the whole field which he paints, and then
determines the quality and value of spots by their
relation to this perceived ensemble. These ways of
looking give rise to quite different sentiments about
In all kinds of really artistic work, whether decora-
tive, realistic, or impressionist, one sees evidence of
that liking for unity of some kind which pervades
every art In painting it may appear in line, chiaros-
curo, colour, or in a combination of all the qualities.
An inborn sense of decorative colour seems to recom-
mend a unity of richness, in fact a kind of varnished
glow, to the natural man. You see it in the love for
reflections, particularly in rather dirty water, in the
taste for Claude Lorraine glasses, in the passion for
the old varnish that softens the hues of a picture and
solves them in a warm and luscious juice. The world
in general admires the harmonising effect of time
upon the tints of a picture, and the artist of a de-
corative turn of mind has been greatly influenced by
the beauty of old colour. Nevertheless, the lover of
nature feels cheated of dear and familiar emotions
when he sees some arbitrary decorative principle em-
ployed to effect this much-desired fusion of colours.
It may become the decorator to conceive a scheme
of colouring, but it behoves the naturalist to find in
nature the bond that will unite and beautify colour.
In this case, of course, one means by nature the man's
impression of the colour-effect of the whole field of
vision about to be painted. In virtue of this impres-
sionistic way of seeing, an artist gives his pictures a
unity of colour which is significant as well as decora-
tive in its beauty. Now, it is evident that much of
the significance of such colour will be lost to eyes
that habitually take in a smaller field of impression
than is taken by the painter. Thus, there are many
people to whom the colouring of a Velasquez looks
cold, dry, and inexplicably grey. Velasquez aimed at
the cool effect of silvery light, and if you look at
the ensemble of his picture as he looked at nature, you
will rarely see a poor passage of colour.
No pictures maintain such a close unity of key
as those of Velasquez. But this close unity of key
corresponds to a real perception of nature. When
a lady in a brightly-coloured hat passes one of his
canvases, it is true that you see the whole picture
of one tone in contrast to the hat. Yet the key is
so subtly varied, so delicately nuanced, that the
picture, unless through such a contrast, appears to be
a luminous tissue of air, not definitely red, green,
black, or yellow. But "Las Meninas," even when
subjected to this test of contrast with real people
sitting on a bench before it, preserves its appearance
of truth and natural vigour. Its colour relations con-
tinue to look as subtle and as naturally complex as
before; and when you look at both nature and the
picture, your eye only seems to pass from one room
into another. The sense of space and roundness in
the real room is not greater than in the painted
room. On the other hand, contrast with the real
HIS COLOUR 69
world exposes no exaggerated reliefs, no over-trenchant
definitions, no false lighting in "Las Meninas." It
is, in fact, neither too tame nor too swaggering and
theatrical in its treatment of natural appearances.
When purely decorative, a close unity of key may
sometimes result in the case of old pictures from age
and varnish, and only sometimes from the painter's
intention, while in the case of modern work it occa-
sionally comes from a palpable disillusionising glaze
of warm colour sloshed over crudity of value. The
pictures of Velasquez, though a little duller than they
were, have changed less than those of most painters,
and they show no traces of glazing or saucing; in-
deed, they are among the few old pictures that have
not gained by time.
The general principle which unites the colours of
his later pictures was reached by Velasquez, neither
through that feeling for decorative fitness which
governed the work of his middle period nor entirely
through the inborn Spanish love of dark hues that we
see in Ribera. It comes from a broader and more
imaginative outlook upon the values of colour as they
are affected by juxtaposition, by atmospheric condi-
tions, and, above all, by their inclination to the source
of light This view of the aspect of nature led him to
study not only black and white but chromatic tone.
A change of the plane on which a colour lies tends to
make it not only lighter or darker, but to change its
hue to dose it with some proportions of blue, yellow
or red. Velasquez recreates the aspect of a place and
its conditions of lighting so convincingly that one feels
able to imagine the value which any local tint would
receive if introduced into any position in the picture.
7 o VELASQUEZ
True, he seldom chooses a subject from nature which
contains many bright local tints, but he always treats
those he admits with a perfect mastery of the resources
of colour. He is as subtle a colourist as real light itself,
which veils even a monochromatic subject in a dress of
coloured tissue. Indeed, the delicate colourist is never
better proved than when he would paint the chromatic
nuances of light upon a motif whose chief local tints are
black or white. By his treatment of blacks in such
pictures as "Moenippus," "Philip IV. Old" (Prado,
1080), and "The Sculptor Montafis" (Prado, 1091),
Velasquez amply demonstrates the amazing finesse of
The beggar Moenippus in his faded black cloak,
towers up to the top of the narrow canvas which repre-
sents him standing, with a book and jar at his feet,
against the bare grey wall of a dim and dusty garret
A great shadow wraps the feet ; but, above, the figure
is tilted back on the hip somewhat after the manner of
Mr Whistler's "Lady Archibald Campbell." Thus a
discreet light skims the upper half of the man, gently
silvering the rusty black and revealing the shape of the
shoulder and the character of the pose. The beauty
of this passage of colour becomes more patent if one
notes the different quality of the black in " Portrait of
a Man" (Prado, 243) by Greco (1548-1625), who painted
portraits in Spain before the days of Velasquez.
Greco opens a pit or hole of black asphalt ; Velasquez
flushes the blacks of Moenippus with a hundred nuances
of greenish light Although he could see the finest
shades of distinction in dark tones, Velasquez was no
colourist in the eyes of those who see little difference
between black, Van Dyke brown, or Prussian blue until
HIS COLOUR 71
they are plentifully diluted with white. These men
are the drunkards of colour. We will not deny that
they like it ; both the gourmet and the gourmand may
be said to like food and yet we give them by no means
an equal reputation for taste.
In the early full-length "Don Carlos" (Prado, 1073)
by Velasquez, the blacks compared with those in the
" Moenippus " look hard, unaerial, and scarcely obedient
to the light This comparison of the early and late
treatment of local blacks by Velasquez may be paral-
leled by a comparison of his general colour in the first
period and in the last " The Forge of Vulcan " (Prado,
1059), dating from about 1630, the end of the first
period, is, as it were, conveyed in a vehicle of brown,
not at all luminous and aerial as the atmosphere of the
later silvery works, "The Spinners," "Las Meninas,"
"The Venus," "Moenippus," "Philip IV." (Prado,
1080), and "Maria Teresa" (Prado, 1084). This brown
of the " Vulcan " is an almost monochromatic tissue of
tone which accompanies and unites the colour of the
picture. It is almost as positive as the brown bitu-
minous vehicle used some twenty years ago by persons
supposed to have been educated at Munich. Few
strong local tints are embedded in the brown tone of
the "Vulcan"; you have nothing in the subject more
chromatic than the flesh tints of the dark blacksmiths,
and the lighter ones of Apollo, a yellow drapery, and,
on the anvil, one spot of glowing iron. The rest of the
picture consists ; of originally greyish colours, drowned
in a brown vehicle. It is curious, by the way, that the
angel in "Christ at the Pillar" (National Gallery, date
1639) is the same person or the same type of person as
the Apollo in the "Vulcan" of 1630. The National
Gallery picture is greyer and more silvery than the
" Vulcan," but it still shows something of the dryness
and hardness which was to be entirely abandoned in
the last period.
Vivid colours occur now and again in the subjects
chosen by Velasquez, as, for instance, the pink scarf in
"The Equestrian Philip" (Prado, 1066), the draperies,
etc., in "The Coronation of the Virgin" (Prado, 1056),
the red cloth in "The Venus," the curtain and the
tapestry in "The Spinners," and touches of rose and
red in "Maria Teresa" (Prado, 1084), but they are
certainly not frequent The " Coronation of the Virgin,"
though painted in the third period, is of a conventional
Italian style in its composition ; and it is not surprising
that a picture with fluttering draperies, rounded clouds,
cherub heads, and all the apparatus of a religious work,
should be highly coloured in unrealistic blues, pinks,
and purples. Of characteristic canvases by Velasquez,
the one in which real atmosphere plays upon the widest
range of colour is perhaps " Las Hilanderas," otherwise
"The Spinners" (Prado, io6i>
THE CORONATION OF THE VIRGIN
HIS MODELLING AND BRUSHWORK
WHILE speaking of colour one has gone some way
towards describing the office of modelling; but there
remains a little to say about this important subject.
Modelling is the basis of the art of painting, the master-
trick of the craft, since it is imposed upon the painter
by the very convention which compels him to express
depths of space and inclinations of surface by shades of
colour laid on one plane. The shortest if not the best
description of the convention of painting is given when
you say that it compels you to have nothing to do with
anything that cannot be shown at one view in a glass.
This implies the single point of sight of perspective and
the single focus of impressionism. In fact, the impres-
sionists are the descendants of the perspectivists ; they
fight the same battle, and are pledged to the same
cause, to show, not how things are, but how they seem.
Notwithstanding the contrary opinion of certain painters,
I cannot but consider modelling the most valuable
acquirement of an impressionist, as with it he may
render his impression of shape and yet neither rivet the
eye nor detain the attention by defined lines or borders,
It seems illogical, and it certainly violates the continuity
of light to dispense with lines round large masses, while
you carefully draw them with a rigger round eyes,
mouths, noses, buttons, and other details. Brushwork
then enters into the question, as it is the means used
to carry out the logic of modelling, especially in the
smaller sub-divisions of a picture where the minuter
forms of detail must often be suggested by texture or
a device of handling.
If one must divide the indivisible and name some
quality of technique in which Velasquez most patently
excelled, one feels inclined to choose his modelling. In
expressing form by real light he finally attained to that
Greek combination of broad, majestic beauty of effect,
with the neatest perfection of finish. Other men, it will
be said, have shown a fine command of form before him,
and Velasquez himself could surely model well enough
in his early works. The back of the blacksmith in
"The Forge of Vulcan" and the arm of Bacchus in
" The Topers," as well as the heads in that picture, are
superb bits of modelling. In what consists the differ-
ence between this early rendering of form and the
modelling of the later pictures ? To some extent per-
haps in a growing feeling for comparative strengths of
definition, which enabled him to avoid tricky or arbitrary
expression, and to pass from piecemeal modelling to
impressionistic modelling. A definition may not dis-
appear in nature if you pry closely into it ; but, when
looked at together with a second one, firmer and yet
soft in the ensemble^ the first must often be made to dis-
appear if due relative force is to be kept A step in
Velasquez's progress in comparative definition may be
seen by comparing portraits of the second period, like
the " Sculptor Montaftes" (Prado, 1091), or the "Admiral
Pulido," of the National Gallery, with close tight early
work, such as "Philip IV." (Prado, 1070), or even Philip,
HIS MODELLING AND BRUSHWORK 75
full length, in the National Gallery. Though the
pictures of the second period are certainly freer, broader,
and less hard than those of the first, perhaps they have
lost something of the intimate rendering of form which
was to be regained in final work, such as " Philip IV."
(Prado, 1080), and "Philip Old" (National Gallery).
Let us admit then that other men have felt form
before Velasquez; it was his merit to have shown it
under one effect of light and to have expressed it with
the sorcery of truth and not by any kind of arbitrary
modelling. The term needs explanation ; I have used
it for ten years, but the other day some one asked me
if it meant the use of idealised forms instead of the
actual shape of the model Here, however, the term
" arbitrary " applies to the want of reality in the means
used to express them, and not to any lack of actuality
in the forms themselves. Idealised form can be rendered
with the least possible convention, and with a fully
coloured and real treatment of light, whereas actual
form can be rendered with the much more conventional
and unreal mediums of pure line or black and white
monochrome. An extreme but well-known instance of
arbitrary modelling may be seen in those maps which
express the shape of a country by contour lines drawn
at successive heights. The steeper the ground the
closer the lines approach, till on a cliff they merge into
a deep shade. If used as modelling, this arbitrary
principle would assume a spectator in the zenith whose
eye is the source of light, so that horizontal planes
appear whitest and vertical ones darkest
It is not necessary to describe all the kinds and
degrees of arbitrariness in modelling which have been
used both before and after Velasquez ; a word or two
must suffice. Leonardo da Vinci, when he was writing
of modelling, blames the conventionality of previous
practitioners as out of correspondence with the truths
of real light He accuses them of modelling by means
of a monochromatic tint used in three or four bands of
increasing darkness from full light to deep shadow.
These gradation tints, something, by the way, like those
used now in mechanical drawings, could be mixed with
the local hue of a drapery or a flesh tint, or else might
be superimposed in glazes. In both cases a sort of
obligato accompaniment in monochrome was called
upon to produce all the modifications of local colour
that we understand by the word "values/ 1 Without
doubt, succeeding painters have used more subtle
methods of modelling, but whether they attain to the
beauty and finesse of Raphael, of Rubens, of Titian,
of Rembrandt, or only of Sir E. Burne-Jones, their
modelling seems arbitrary and their beauties conven-
tional beside the naturalism of Velasquez.
When we see a quite white world after a heavy fall
of snow, we do not see a monochrome but the chromatic
hues of a coloured atmospheric effect Sometimes it is
a tissue of rose, blue, and yellow all in a high fairy-like
key, or again it is a harmony of brown and silver ; but,
whatever it may be, it goes far to disprove the theory
that a shadow is only a darker shade of a light The
shapes of this equally white ground are revealed by the
various inclination of their slopes to the light, yet this
light is yellow on one slope, blue on another, and by no
means merely darker or brighter shades of one tint
The distances of the snow-fields are indicated by their
absorption in atmospheric hues, but the foreground is
not another shade of the colour that wraps the distance.
HIS MODELLING AND BRUSHWORK 77
A red, blue, or yellow world would also model chro-
matically under light, and so we may be sure that every
change of plane in the real compositely-hued world
should correspond in the picture to a change of value
in true colour.
Velasquez's idea of finish in modelling consisted
in making his rendering of light logical, convincing,
and beautiful. He taught himself not to over-model
every bit of a picture because he saw that the
range of available values is graduated according to
the inclination of real planes and not according to
their size or structural importance. To burden a
plane with smaller planes, perhaps steeper or equally
steep, means frittering away the values that should
not only distinguish, but eloquently proclaim im-
portant changes of surface. The constant repetition
of sharp accidents tires the eye; it is like the
false cry of wolf that forestalls the effect of the
really momentous occasion. This appears especially
evident in landscape, where it is counted unwise to
pretend to fully outline and model objects too small
to properly exhibit the effect of shadow and light
The artist who insists on giving such accidents an
important treatment generally employs a false kind
of definition which really belongs to the convention
of outline drawing and not to that of full-toned
oil painting. Indeed, the traditions of laborious or
gorgeous styles of the past linger incongruously in
later art, as buttons and lappets, the relics of former
fashions, remain on the coats we wear to-day. In
a difficult passage of naturalistic modelling, painters
are apt to take refuge in the older conventions of
line, which contradict and destroy the consistency
and mystery of revelation by true light If bad
tone is often a relic of decorative or monochro-
matic styles, hard and linear definition often comes
from traditions of primitive draughtsmanship.
In the art of outline drawing itself, it is held
difficult to perceive the true sweep and sentiment
of a long line which contains small indentations
often steeper in their slopes than the main inclinti-
tion of the large contour. In this case, however,
experience proves that breadth of treatment can be
cultivated by training. It is said that in France
drawing can be taught even to a man without a
turn for it, but, it may be added, drawing with no
merit except that of a proportionate subordination
of parts. However this may be, it is certainly
more difficult to teach a man to perceive relative
values of colour and relative forces of definition.
He must not only learn to sweep his eye along
one line, but to embrace a whole area with an
imaginative grasp of sight Hence it is easy to
observe contiguous values and difficult to note the
relation of value between tones separated from each
other by a considerable angle at the observer's eye.
It requires an impressionist to feel the connection
between such values with anything like the sensation
of certitude with which one feels the harmony of
a chord. That is to say, it requires one whose
faculty it is to conceive of all the spots and mark-
ings of a scene only in some relation to its whole
aspect The ensemble of a scene hypnotises and
fascinates an impressionist as if it were a real,
personal, and indivisible entity and not a mere sum
of small quantities.
PABLILLOS DE VALLADOLII>
ALSO CALLED A BUFFOON, AK
ACTOR, AND A RHETOR
HIS MODELLING AND BRUSHWORK 79
Breadth of view was Velasquez's most admirable
possession ; by it he made composition, modelling,
and style, the slaves of his impressions. This breadth
of view led him in his later pictures to vary his
manner of painting according 'to the sentiment of
his impression, so that you will find in his work no
pattern of brushwork, no settled degree of intimacy
in the modelling, no constantly equal force of realisa-
tion in edges, and, in short, no fixed habits or methods
of expression. In the comparison of "The Topers"
with "Las Meninas," it was pointed out that three
single heads which are just sufficiently broad in treat-
ment to look comfortable, would produce, if composed
in one frame, a pattern too crowded and spotty from
a decorative point of view. But such a compilation
of unmodified studies would sin also from an im-
pressionistic point of view. It would imply three
focuses of impression, and therefore whatever char-
acter each of the separate impressions might have
possessed would be jostled out of existence by the
others, and it would be impossible that there could
be any agreement of meaning between the aspect of
the picture and its technique.
To people who have never painted, such terms as
impressions, fields of vision, and angles of sight, may
seem fanciful, or at least irrelevant to art An illus-
tration may help to show them that there is no absolute
realism of appearance, but that different eyes and
different habits of looking at the world would manifest
different qualities and different aspects of truth. When
a man reads, he does not focus individual letters but
takes in a whole line at a glance ; so that in ordinary
reading for pleasure he overlooks misspellings, reversed
letters, etc. On the other hand, a child reading letter
by letter, with a smaller field of impression, cannot
avoid seeing such mistakes. The large print used for
children is extremely fatiguing to grown people as
in order to see at one time the amount of letters
required to give them the current impression and
meaning of writing, they have to work over an un-
usually wide field of sight. If they hold these large
letters at a distance from the eye, proportionate to
their size, they will observe that the eye defines
differently, and altogether loses very fine strokes. It
is easy to apply this to painting, and it may serve
to show that what you look for you will see, let it
be a large thing and a continuous meaning, or small
things and a jerky interrupted meaning.
Many people must have noticed the occasional
effect of a portrait upon a blank canvas an effect of
grand importance, too often speedily impaired as the
painter proceeds to fill in the space. This blank
space happened to correspond roughly to the degree
of attention which the painter had accorded to sur-
roundings when he was painting the head ; its empti-
ness justified the closeness of his modelling and the
precision of his definitions. When he began to focus
elsewhere and to fill in accessories, the head began
to look mean and too tightly modelled. Velasquez's
most closely-studied heads are for the most part
isolated portraits, painted against utter blackness or
against an atmospheric grey or fawn tone of great
simplicity. Such are, for instance, "The Crucifixion"
(Prado, 1055), and " Philip IV. " (1080), in the same
gallery. Indeed, the black blankness surrounding " The
Crucifixion * alone saves its antique Bellini-like details
HIS MODELLING AND BRUSHWORK 81
of lettering and wood-graining from looking common-
place and topographical. As he became an impres-
sionist somewhat slowly, the qualities of modelling
which Velasquez always possessed appear to best
advantage in those early pictures which are simple
busts, as "Philip IV. in Armour" (Prado, 1071), and
not in those which are full-lengths, as "Philip IV."
(Prado, 1073), r the older full-length of Philip in
the National Gallery. In his later art, Velasquez
never painted a wide view as he would a narrow
one, nor a simple subject as a complicated one. When
he painted a wide angle of sight, he either concentrated
himself on a point, or steeped his whole canvas equally
in a soft envelope of light Indeed, whatever he
painted, he always painted the quality of his atten-
tion to the scene, and, in virtue of that principle, his
best pictures never look spotty, and never tempt one
to cut them up into gem-like bits. His ensemble is
always equally easy to grasp, whether he paints great
groups like "Las Meninas" and "The Spinners,"
solitary full-lengths like "Moenippus" and "-<Esop,"
costume-portraits like "Maria Teresa" (Prado, 1084),
or simple busts like the head of Philip (Prado, 1080).
But if the art of all these pictures is based on the
same principles, and perhaps for that very reason, the
technique is very different in them all. You may
note a wonderful variety in Velasquez's style of
modelling a head, not only in different periods of his
life, but in pictures of the same period, and, what is
more, in heads on the same canvas. Some heads are
modelled very broadly and softly, without a sharp
mark, a hard edge, or small steep planes. The surface
slide into each other in a loose, supple manner, that
almost makes them look as if they were shaped in jelly
or fluid. Some consist of bold, rough-hewn planes
which give a face the force and vigour of firm chiselling.
Others, again, are completed to show the finest niceties
of shape and inclination, with an intimacy of feeling and
a delicacy of proportion that no man has ever equalled.
The handling is always discreet and inspired by the
necessities of the occasion; neither does it follow a
determined pattern, which might impart a frozen and
artificial look, nor does it seek an effect of bravura
dexterity which might arrogate an undue share of
attention and interest Although no certain rule can
be laid down, generally speaking, Velasquez inclines
to brush in the obvious direction of the forms, so as
to supplement tone and structure by the sentiment
of the execution. In many cases, however, he smudges
so subtly as to convey no sense of direct handling.
The limb or object treated seems to grow mysteriously
out of dusky depths and to be shaped by real
In the foregoing account of the art of Velasquez,
it has been contended that his impulse to arrange a
canvas grew out of the scene before his eyes ; that his
severe and stately colour is founded on nature, and
that his execution becomes quiet and exact, or burly
and impetuous, as the occasion demands. More than
any other man's, his work convinces us that he knew
what he saw and was incapable of self-deception; it
is wholly free from haphazard passages, treacly ap-
proximations to tone, or clever tricks and processes
that evade rather than resolve a difficulty. Above all,
his art is interesting without the extravagance which
may kindle a momentary excitement, but is apt, like
POPE INNOCENT X
HIS MODELLING AND BRUSHWORK 83
a passionate mania for a woman, to die of satiety from
its very violence. The restrained force and dignify
of Velasquez inspire one with reverence and lasting
respect; one cannot easily fathom the depth of his
insight nor weary of his endless variety.
NOTES ON SOME OF HIS PICTURES
A FEW pictures may be mentioned as examples of
his differences of treatment at various times of his life
and in the service of various kinds of impression.
"Philip IV." (Prado, 1080) may be noted for the
sweet finesse of the modelling, the lovely black of the
clothes, and a command of colour in close ranges so
supreme that the local tints of the flesh are preserved,
and cannot anywhere be confounded with the soft
iridescence of the luminous envelope. I scarcely
noticed this canvas at first, but its unobtrusive thor-
oughness gained ground every day, and at last its
silvery light fascinated me even more than the more
striking illuminations of "The Spinners," "^Esop/' or
"Moenippus." It is smoother and more polished in
surface than these pictures, making, indeed, quite a
contrast to the particularly rough * ^Esop " near it ;
so that it has acquired a greener, mellower, and more
varnished look, which adds to its appearance of ex-
treme delicacy. One feels that this portrait of Philip
goes beyond human powers in the intimacy of its
modelling. It seems to challenge nature in finish, and
one almost resents that art and nature should both
triumph to this extent on the same canvas. Per-
haps the more visionary modelling of the head in
NOTES ON SOME OF HIS PICTURES 85
"Moenippus," the grand unashamed bravura of
"Jisop," the looser, broader execution of the faces
in "Las Meninas," "The Spinners," and the "Maria
Teresa," may be more impressively magisterial, because
more artistic, or, if you will, more artificial. The
modelling of these pictures challenges less arrogantly
the test of absolute truth. But it must be remembered
that in the larger canvases the modelling is modified
in style to suit different impressions and the con-
vention of a wider view. This Philip in the Prado,
like that in the National Gallery, only with less acces-
sory, is a mere bust shown against simple gloom. Its
extreme precision, and the close accuracy with which
every refinement of plane and every delicacy of flesh
tint is rendered, are therefore justified, since the head,
freed from distracting clamour of rival interests, alone
occupies the eye and fixes the attention. It is possible
to keep a tighter grip on the definitions, and, as it
were, to screw the eye closer down to the forms than
would be comfortable or natural in a wider or more
Velasquez looks at a full-length or a portrait with
accessories in quite a different mood. "The Eques-
trian Philip " of his middle period he touches in sum-
marily with fresh aerial colour, squarely spread by
large brush-strokes. The eye glances over the head,
taking in character as it would in the open air,
without a too nice discrimination of varieties in flesh
tint " Martinez Montaft6s " reminds one of a Carolus-
Duran, with its bold planes as firm as if sculptured ;
while in " Maria Teresa," on the other hand, the face
looks soft and smooth owing to concealed flat model-
ling, and the head seems comparatively of small
account, like that of a Greek statue. This quietude
doubtless justifies itself by the exceeding brilliancy of
the dress-painting, which captures so much of the
The full lengths, ^Esop" and " Moenippus," differ
no less from each other in workmanship than from
the foregoing. "^Esop," the most cleverly-handled of
all Velasquez's heads, is the one that most supports
the legend of his swaggering dexterity in flourishing
a paintbrush. It is a rough impasto woven into a
most marvellously expressive texture, which is un-
fortunately quite unreproducible in illustrations.
"Moenippus," again, is painted in large overlapping
smears, very softly but very broadly, so that nothing
specially arrests the eye, which floats over a face,
figure, and accessories all bathed in liquid depths of
air. In " Las Meninas " you take in a populous area,
you embrace a vast field of vision, a wide view, in
fact, which demands and certainly receives the highest
art of impressionistic treatment. Velasquez has
centred the vision instead of spreading it equally over
the field as Corpt has done in many of his canvases.
Yet this is contrived with so much art, that the careless
might not recognise "Las Meninas" as a work done
on the same principle as some of those so-called
eccentric pictures of recent impressionists.
Everyone will recall compositions in which a near
figure, chair, table, or stretch of foreground, appears
an enlarged and dislocated spectre, extravagantly
mejnbered of meaningless and accidental blotches.
But these splashes obey a logical principle, although
they may too often defeat their purpose by their
infelicitous quaintness. The mind glides past these
NOTES ON SOME OF HIS PICTURES 87
ghosts of objects unless they are made too strange;
hence they should not fix the eye, but should play
loosely in a free medium, and should carry with them
no sharpness of definition, no small varieties of patch,
no modelled detail. In comparison with other parts
of the picture, they should have no attractive power
over the eye, and yet they should come forward and
stand in their right place. Now, after some study
you will find in "Las Meninas" this same art of dis-
tributing the attention. Wide as it is, one looks at
it easily as a whole, and at every subdivision as an
inseparable part of a scheme. The central Infanta,
by the force of light, by the surrounding definitions,
by the arrangement of the figures, by the strong
opposition of the open door and by the character of
the modelling, alway3 holds the key of the situation.
But this is not all, for the Dwarf closer to you on the
right, as well as Velasquez farther off on the left, are
by no means modelled in the same style as the Infanta.
The Dwarf looks more diffused in definition and rather
resembles the head of " Moenippus " in its large loose-
ness and its floating vagueness. This head, which is
well to the side of the canvas, yet nearer to you than
the Infanta, is worked with greater amplitude of model-
ling than the central figures, and with a less concen-
trated style and a more swimming touch. But there
is no shocking distinction of brushwork in the picture,
no perplexing splashes that detain a questioning mind
even if they allow the eye to pass. At first sight all
appears brushed with the same insidious naturalness
of manner. Indeed, it is rather by subtlety of definition
and the varying treatment of planes at their junctures,
that the various interests of the picture are governed
and subordinated. In the modern picture the trick ?s
often too readily perceived and so appears unnatural.
In "Las Meninas" the eye is gratified unconsciously
by this artifice and the impression of unity is made
almost overwhelming, although the means used in no
way intrude themselves, and you would swear that all
was executed in the same style and by no subtler
magic than a reflection in a mirror.
In the busier, richer, and more accentuated canvas
of "The Spinners," the shadowed left half acts as a
foil to the right, and in its treatment we feel the
master even more perhaps than in the lively right half
which contains the heroic figure of the spinning girl.
It is because this left half is complete and dignified yet
not obtrusive that we admire the art with which it has
been organised. True, it contains about as strong local
colour as Velasquez ever painted, but the tints sleep
in a rich, penumbra which serves to set off the highly-
illuminated figure on the right In this comparatively
tranquil side of the picture, the spindle, the stool, the
floor and the objects on it as well as the draped and
shadowed figures, seem to quiver in a warm haze
silvered with cool glints of light Here Velasquez has
reached the top point of telling suggestion, of choice
touch, of nuanced softness, of comparative definition,
and of courageous slashing force in the right place.
But these two marvels do not quarrel; this rich cir-
cumambiance of populous shadow and this dazzling
creature emerging from shadowiness with the gesture
of a goddess, set each other off and enhance each
other's fascinations. Is not the magic of her ex-
quisitely-turned head, and the magnificence of her
sweeping gesture due, in part at least, to the natural
NOTES ON SOME OF HIS PICTURES 89
mystery with which the stray curls, the shining arm,
the modelled neck and body slide into the marvellous
shadow in the angle of the room? The cool light,
slightly greened now, which pervades " The Spinners,"
comes to its culmination on this figure, and one should
not overlook the painter's nice discrimination between
the force of definitions in the passages from light to
dark of the girl's chemise. The immense breadth of
the surroundings, the fluid looseness of the inferior
markings in "The Spinners" helps to make the girl
more really divine than the neighbouring Virgin by
Murillo. In spite of her crescent moon, her cherubs,
her pillowy clouds, and other religious paraphernalia,
she is but a pretty ordinary girl whose hands, mouth,
and hair are softly but cheaply modelled, in comparison
to those of a figure by Velasquez.
In the octagon room dose to " The Spinners " hangs
the costume-picture "Maria Teresa," which Justi
believes to be a portrait of the "Princess Margaret,"
the Infanta of "Las Meninas." She stands directly
facing the light in a wonderfully elaborate balloon
dress, embroidered with a complicated pattern of silver
and pink and gleaming jewellery. In one hand she
holds a rose, in the other a lace handkerchief, and on
the left behind her in the shadow a red curtain droops
in heavy folds. No pupil touched the smallest acces-
sory of this extraordinary costume; lace, ruffles,
embroidery, every inch of the dress is painted by
Velasquez, with a running slippery touch which appears
careless near at hand, but which at the focus gives
colour, pattern, sparkle, and underlying form with the
utmost precision and completeness. The shadow
behind the figure is aerial in quality, deep but not
heavy, and silvered like the passages In light, so that
black would tell upon it as a rude brutality of tone.
Near "Maria Teresa," you may see work of many
kinds; the beginnings of paint in a Van Eyck, con-
temporary art in the Murillo, and not far off A. Moro's
"Mary Tudor," painted for Philip II. Then there is
" David Rycksert," Van Dyck's dark portrait of a man
in a fur-lined robe, very finely and frankly painted,
although without the finesse of the "Maria Teresa."
Rembrandt's "Artemisia" may not rank among his
good paintings, and certainly its gloom is heavy and
its transitions from shadow to light are harsh in com-
parison to similar passages in the work of Velasquez.
Examination of these pictures and others will help to
show the infinite delicacy which Velasquez attained
in the art of modelling, for beside his " Maria Teresa "
all other pictures seem to lack the subtlety of real
It is instructive to compare the treatment of the
dresses in "Maria Teresa" and in "Las Meninas."
The dress of the single portrait sparkles all over with
vivacities of touch, but the broad, flatter treatment of
the dress in the larger group better agrees with a
rendering of attention spread over a wide view. Owing
to this sensitive feeling for the whole impression, " Las
Meninas," spread out as it is and full of strong points,
never tires the eye and never appears uncomfortably
crowded. Its detail nowhere intrudes unduly and
nowhere suggests a rival impression to the main one.
In fact, it is no more cut up proportionately than the
single portrait, although it embraces many more figures.
It was, however, this dashing, rippling execution of
"Maria Teresa" that chiefly struck the pupils of
NOTES ON SOME OF HIS PICTURES 91
Velasquez, and one can see very good imitations of it
in the work of his son-in-law, J. B. del Mazo. Perhaps
solider, simpler work would have been more usefully
studied. Many painters in the present century have
been taken rather with the master's subordination of
detail and his breadth of modelling, than with his
dexterity in brushwork.
In all the best canvases of Velasquez, you will find
the accessories vitalised by just degrees of force instead
of being killed by an equal realisation all over the
canvas. So it is in the " Moenippus," the " JEsop" and
the Dwarf with a dog called "Antonio el Inglese."
The workmanship of this last a little resembles that of
"Maria Teresa" in its vivacious expression of detail
with a flowing brush. The ornaments of the dress, the
hat and feather, and the dog itself, are all given with
a gusto that never seems to interfere with true drawing
and broad modelling. The handling of ",5sop" is
graver and more stately, but everything here is also
in its right place and of the right force, down to the
subdued finish and elegant accuracy of the light on
the water on the bucket One cannot help feeling
that Manet, the painter of " Le bon Bock," and other
magnificently painted heads, must have felt in close
sympathy with the handling of the face in "^Esop."
Again, when one looks at the "Sculptor Montaftes,"
one thinks of Carolus-Duran ; of the Whistler of " Lady
Archibald Campbell" when one sees "Moenippus";
and of the Sargent who painted "Mrs Haminersley"
and " El Jaleo," when one stands before " Maria Teresa "
and " The Spinners."
In fact, when we look back upon the variety of all
these pictures, we are convinced that Velasquez never
used style for its own sake. Whether you look at a
point of his composition, colouring, modelling, or
handling, it appears always to have been decided by
the aspect of each picture and not by preconceived
principles. His composition is never a pattern forced
upon nature, his drawing is not an effort to realise
abstract contours, his colour is not the harmony of
positive tints understood by a milliner, his brush
changes with his impressions, as the tones of a man's
voice with his emotions.
Thus in "Philip IV." (Prado, 1080), no brushwork
is visible as befits an almost perfect attempt at the
illusion of light. This smoothness, however, has
no kinship with the polish of Raphael, which was a
mannerism applied to everything. The earlier " Forge
of Vulcan" shows a more evident workmanship, no-
where rough or sweeping, though you may note several
instances of brushing across the shape of the limb,
for Velasquez was never pedantic in his use of prin-
ciples. " The Spinners " may be quoted as an example
of the painter's art of touching accessories broadly,
and in this connection one should look also at the
slashing lights on the horse in the "Equestrian
Olivares." The " Sculptor Montafi<s," the best portrait
of the middle period, forestalls modern logicality of
treatment; one may note the bold certainty with
which Velasquez establishes the form of the eye
socket, the planes of the nose and cheeks in this
broad and stately portrait No lines are wanted to
bring out the shapes; the painter's science of values
is all-sufficient Even in "Maria Teresa," which is
a miracle of dexterous touch, the handling is obedient
to fact and expresses matter before manner. The
NOTES ON SOME OF HIS PICTURES 93
large, soft style of brushing used in "Moemppus,"
c Las Meninas," etc., may be seen on a smaller scale
in the "Philip IV. Old," of the National Gallery.
Lastly, the management of trees by Velasquez, in his
later period, as in "The Avenue" (Prado, mo), may
be compared in beauty, even to the work of Corot.
He has felt to the full the soft, bowery umbrageous-
ness of trees, and has seen that for the most part
they cut against the sky with a blurred, vaporous
line. As a tree is deep as well as broad, it can
seldom relieve as a jagged line against a background ;
and as leaves are very small, and set one behind the
other, the saw-edge of the contour of detachment
becomes merely a line softened with such a burr as
you see in dry-point
HIS RELATION TO OLDER ART
To the eye of the historian, Velasquez may seem to
grow out of the main stem of art ; he may appear to
have his place in the orderly development of the
history of painting. To the eye of the sympathetic
modern painter, he seems an explosion of personality
as disconnected with the art that immediately followed
him as with that which preceded him. I believe that
the expert in mannerisms has tried to fix his measur-
ing apparatus upon the pictures of Velasquez, but to no
good purpose. The counting of curls, the measuring
of thumbs, the tracing of poses, may reveal something
when applied to men who learnt to draw and paint
formulas by rote, but must break down in the case
of a man with whom drawing is not a habit but an
art. Velasquez taught himself to picture the impres-
sion made by any sight upon his brain. This system
of training, which aims at improving the sight, at
cultivating a mood, at gaining a general faculty, has
banished the other system of learning a set of propor-
tions, a stock of patterns, a host of tips for drawing
separate limbs and other natural objects. Nothing
astonishes a modern painter more than to see a
historian ransack every gallery to find a precedent for
the style of a hand in a picture, rather than admit the
THE DWARF " EL NINO
HIS RELATION TO OLDER ART 95
possibility that an artist could choose one for himself
in the vast magazine of nature. Personal preference,
artistic impressionability, the counsel of a passing mood,
the testimony of a sensitive eye, are not these sufficient
reasons for the appearance of some given form in a
picture? Moreover, a picture cannot be the efficient,
the first cause of a picture; all true art originates in
the personal predilections of an individual mind, and in
personal sensitiveness to external nature. The rest is
disguised copying, artistic or inartistic mannerism.
Now, of all painters, Velasquez was the one who
tampered least with the integrity of his impression of
the world. Every one of his pictures was a fresh
effort, less at finding a new and striking subject than
at realising more absolutely a way of seeing things
in general that was personal to him. Hence he never
tired of repetition, for the good reason that it was no
repetition to him in the sense that successive Madonnas
and saints were to the early Italians, who cooked them
out of receipts for thumbs, hair, draperies, ovals of
faces, noses and poses.
This makes the study of his work at Madrid as
trying as the study of some dozen old Italian masters.
Although during a too short visit to the Prado I
looked at the rest of the gallery only as a background
to the pictures of Velasquez, I cannot speak of him
without feeling a want of fuller knowledge and, above
all, of the advantage of having made one or two copies.
It was some consolation, after leaving Madrid, to hear
from the Scotch painter, Mr John Lavery, that he had
not found six months of study tod careful copying
sufficient to settle his opinions on the pictures of
Velasquez. Upon his return in a following year, he
found unexpected beauties in some canvases, he looked
at others as if he had never seen them before, while
the copy that in Scotland had been to him and to
other painters the very interpretation of Velasquez,
now seemed lacking the essential spirit of the master.
Thus, whether one gives a week or a year to the
Prado, one comes back convinced that one cannot
have sounded all the depths of a man who never did
anything as a skilled automaton or a learned pedant
Of course it is in the later canvases, in the works of
the last dozen years of his life, that Velasquez makes the
most marvellous use of paint But the marvel is not of
the kind one looks for. In the large impressionistic
canvases of his later life, one might expect to see the
bold, dexterous brasher surpassing even Ribera, Hals,
or the mature Rembrandt in the bravura of his handi-
work. On the contrary, as I have said, the paint at
first sight scarcely appears to be intentionally handled ;
it seems put on, I might say, without art, if that did not
give a false view ; for in truth it is put on with consum-
mate art in the interest of the whole canvas, and not for
the style of the passage itself. Without flourish, for the
most part without even an appearance of brush strokes,
the paint is smeared in thin filmy scales which vary in
size, looseness, and breadth, with the necessities of the
subject and the composition. It is a style founded on
the pursuit of more than usually just and subtle model-
ling, a modelling which changes character with the size
of the canvas, with the width or narrowness of the field
of view, and with the position near or far from the focus
of impression of an object to be modelled. It is a style
compatible with revision and correction, for it in no way
depends upon the integrity of some arbitrary pattern of
SEBASTIAN DE MORRA
HIS RELATION TO OLDER ART 97
touch, square, sweeping, or interwoven. This apparent
artlessness surprises one at first, but becomes in the end
a chief charm of the later Velasquez, who was too great,
too earnest, too far-seeing, to care for small affectations
of manner. In these pictures nothing seems to inter-
pose between you and the mind of Velasquez. You
seem to be behind his eye, able to judge and to feel,
with all the power and sensitiveness .of that unrivalled
organ. In a word, his work resembles the fine writing
in which style is so docile a servant of matter, that it
never draws attention to itself; you read as you might
eat a meal in the Arabian Nights, served by invisible
In spite of the example of Velasquez, some modern
painters fear a close study of drawing, values, or model-
ling ; and through their timidity they leave an impres-
sion in a vague state, half-true, half-realised, a state of
fever or of sleepiness. Not nature, but the man's impres-
sion of nature, should be complete and definite. Their
fear of drawing and modelling is unfounded; in the
hands of Velasquez these accomplishments never be-
came mechanical, never degenerated from inspired
seeing to trained labour. Need we fear to advance
towards truth and accuracy, when he who adventured
farthest seems to encourage us by the grandeur and
surpassing sentiment that rewarded his devotion to the
mi tier ^
Whilst looking at his pictures, one may remember
amongst his predecessors and the painters of his choice,
Caravaggio, Greco, Ribera, Sanchez Coello, and notably
Titian and Tintoretto. The spirit that animated Cara-
vaggio and Ribera may be seen in the solidity, real
form, and fine handling of "The Forge of Vulcan 11
and * The Topers." In Greco you may see something
of the simplicity and sober colouring of his single
portraits, and in Coello a prophecy of his flesh colours
of grey ash quality and of his early accuracy in the
accessories of dress.
Greco is often spoken of as a man to whom Velasquez
was directly indebted for his style. While Greco cer-
tainly adopted a Spanish gravity of colouring, neither
that nor his modelling was ever subtle or thoroughly
natural Yet in such portraits as Prado 243, 245, there
is more suppleness and breadth than Velasquez had
ever displayed up to the date of Greco's death at
Toledo in 1625. One of these examples of Greco's
work (No. 243) hangs just above the early Velasquez,
"Philip IV." (1071), and while one admits Greco's
superior freedom and ease of style, one perhaps admires
still more the inborn power of seeing shown by the
modelling of the mouth of this early Velasquez. While
Velasquez ripened with age and practice, Greco was
rather inclined to get rotten with facility.
Velasquez had opportunities of studying other painters
than Greco as soon as he became Court painter, and it
is known that his admiration was early turned to the
work of Venice, He often praised Titian's execution
as well as Tintoretto's rendering of light and the just
depth of space. On the authority of Boschini, Carl
Justi records a conversation between Salvator Rosa and
Velasquez, which throws some light on the Spaniard's
natural tastes. Salvator had asked whether after all
he had seen in Italy he did not think Raphael the best,
to which Velasquez replied, " Raphael, to be plain with
you, for I like to be candid and outspoken, does not
please me at all." Then Salvator said, " In that case,
HIS RELATION TO OLDER ART 99
there can apparently be nobody to your taste in Italy,
for to him we yield the crown." And Velasquez
answered, "In Venice are found the good and the
beautiful; to their brush I give the first place; it is
Titian that bears the banner/' Velasquez, indeed, must
have admired the breadth and envelopment of the
pictures of Titian, Tintoretto, Correggio, Veronese, and
certainly the style of such a portrait as the "'Andrea
Odoni " by Lotto, which was exhibited in the New
Gallery, January 1895. On the other hand, he could
scarcely be expected to sympathise with the art of
Raphael; and his outspokenness has been amply re-
paid in all ages by the frank dislike of all Raphaelites
for his own work. We could not wish artists other-
wise; were they tepid to the beauties they see in the
world, they could arouse in us but a feeble response
to their works. Art without personal prejudice would
become an affair of science in which truth depends on
argument and not on personal convictions. Painting,
in that case, would be abandoned by artistic minds for
some field of enterprise which was unattainable by
mathematical processes, and which still offered free
elbow-room for the sport of the emotions and the play
But before Velasquez saw Italy he must have seen
the superb portrait "Mary Tudor " (Prado, 1484), by
Antonio More. The lesson of a picture which is abso-
lutely sincere to the principle of sight of its author
cannot have been lost upon Velasquez. This portrait
stops everyone and communicates the shock of contact
with a real person. I say " shock " advisedly, for it is
over-modelled after the manner of those who have fine
eyes and are not impressionists. It betrays invincible
perseverance, care, and close perception, but it reveals
nothing magically like a late portrait by Velasquez.
Having seen it, you are done with it, and cannot hope
to find fresh beauties dawning on you each time you
return. The thing is too set, too tightly frozen into
definite lines in the features. Mary Tudor would never
have so looked to any one in her life. This determined
hunting down of every separate feature has ended in
something more rigid than flesh; something more like a
caricature than an impression, something more like a
diagram than the changeable reality of nature. It is a
record, perhaps, for the historian, not a revelation for
the poet Yet beyond this ideal I scarcely think
Velasquez travelled until he was over thirty. It will
be remembered that the "Mary Tudor" hangs on the
same wall with the "Sculptor Montaflfe," "The Spinners,"
and "Maria Teresa," by Velasquez. The comparison
here offered is worth making by any one who goes to
The power of seizing a speaking resemblance such
as we see in "Mary Tudor" has been always accorded
to Velasquez. It is a merit which cannot be denied
him as it was denied Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, and
other great painters who often executed a fantasia on
the motif of the person painted. Titian's "Francois
Premier " is shrewdly doubted on the score of likeness
in the present day, and Dutch burghers in the past
preferred Van der Heist to Rembrandt It was in the
cause of beauty that these great artists sacrificed the
accurate map of the features that pleases family friends
and the profusion of hard accessories that ministers to
CRISTOBAL DE PERNIA
CALLED "BABARROJA 5 "
HIS RELATION TO OLDER ART 101
A painter may not with impunity take the free
generous style of Titian and Rembrandt and correct it
with a dose of the patient accuracy of tamer spirits.
Grandeur and carefulness will usually quarrel like a
medicine of ill-mixed ingredients in a patient's stomach.
Men who have been as conscientiously truthful as
Velasquez have painted worse than he has and have
not attained the same kind of truth. The intimacy
which is so much admired in Velasquez was not arrived
at by deliberate eclecticism, but by the inspiration of
a genius for seeing things freshly. He learnt to see
differently from Antonio More, to care for larger truths ;
and it was this fine imaginative seeing that gave a
charm to the world in his eyes and prompted his brush
to nobler fashions of expression. For what great thing
can be done in art with only patience, method, and
accuracy of eye? Those who have tried and failed,
but who take heart to understand the success of great
men, know that mere trouble only ends in elaboration
of the part and disorganisation of the whole ; at best
in the dull topographical chart of the features which
misses the divine enchantment of the finest art Yet
one may search through the Prado in vain to find
any portrait, outside of the work of Velasquez, more
thoroughly studied than " Mary Tudor/' more evidently
the report of a trustworthy eye. " LTiorame au gant,"
or the still finer "Young Man unknown" by Titian in
the Louvre, not to speak of "Titian's Mistress," are
incomparably more beautiful art than "Mary Tudor";
they are less intimate, however. It is only Velasquez
who is as penetrating as More, as poetical and artistic
as Titian. "Titian's Mistress, 1 ' it is not possible to
imagine even Velasquez able to better, but one feels
that he, and perhaps he alone, could have corrected a
certain hardness in the modelling of "L'homme au
gant," and an unwise precision in certain lines of the
glove, hair, etc.
MARIANA DE AUSTRIA
SECOND WIFE OF PHILIP IV
HIS INFLUENCE UPON RECENT ART*
To see the Prado is to modify one's opinion of the
novelty of recent art Landscape and landscape with
figure may be more independent of the past, but figure
painting certainly owes much to Velasquez. Whether
directly or indirectly, whether consciously or uncon-
sciously, artists have decided after half-a- century of
exploration to follow the path of Velasquez. Not that
they have plagiarised, but that in the natural growth of
ideas, the seed of thought has been blown from Spain
to every part of the world. The process, however, was
a slow one. Writers on Velasquez have been few ; in
the past Pacheco, the master and father-in-law of
Velasquez, and Palomino, painter to Philip V. ; in the
present century Sir W. Stirling Maxwell, Richard Ford,
T. Thor6, Carl Justi, and one or two others. But writing
can do nothing to help art, unless like a sign-post it
makes painters aware of the road to a certain kind of
art They must walk it themselves, and we find that
those who saw and spoke enthusiastically of Velasquez
In the early portion of the century went little out of
their way to understand him. Sir David Wilkie pre-
ferred "The Topers" to the later work, and John Philip,
if he learnt anything from Velasquez, learnt from the
early pictures certain receipts in colouring and in hand-
ling a brush, but not the courage to work entirely
The return to nature of the French Romantics of
1815 to 1855 was guided rather by the example of
Rubens, Rembrandt, Lawrence, and Constable, than
by that of Velasquez. A Gros, a Gerlcault, a Delacroix,
however vigorously painted, shows only a realism of
subject, of textures, of detail, of drawing, but never a
realism of general aspect that could approach the con-
vincing truth of the later impressionism of Velasquez.
It was in landscape with figure that France indepen-
dently worked out the principles of a new art, and
even Corot seems to hold one hand to the Romantics,
and the other to the schools of 1865-95. The names
of Courbet, Manet, Carolus-Duran, Whistler, Henner,
will occur to everyone as characteristic of the departure
of the present movement in art Without doubt, Bonnat,
E. Delaunay, A. Legros, and others have revived our
interest in style, our assiduity in modelling, but after
fashions less particular to our own age, I am more
acquainted with M. Carolus-Duran's views and system
than with those of others, and I think that he differs
from French Romantics much as Velasquez differed
from Rubens and Rembrandt
Duran set himself to teach art less on the venerable
principles of outline drawing than on a method adapted
to his own fashion of looking at nature by masses and
by constructive planes. Of course, Duran taught draw-
ing, but likely enough his method was not suitable to
every kind of talent, for he separated drawing from
modelling with the brush as little as possible. Accord-
ing to him the whole art of expressing form should
progress together and should consist in expressing it,
HIS INFLUENCE UPON RECENT ART 105
as we see it, by light He regarded drawing as the art
of placing things rightly in depth as well as in length
and breadth ; and for this purpose he would call atten-
tion to various aspects of form the intersection and
prolongation of imaginary lines, the shape of inclosed
spaces, the interior contents of masses, the inclination of
planes to light, and the expression or characteristic
tendency of any visible markings.
Very far back in history there was probably a sort
of folk-drawing as there was folk-music consisting of
conventions for expressing individual objects to be
learnt by rote as we learn the shapes of the countries
from an atlas. Then came the stage of canons of
proportion as we find them still discussed by Diirer
and Leonardo in their attempts to formalise the vague
traditions of the past From this we pass in the books
of that same Leonardo to the third stage based on the
sciences of perspective and anatomy. Relics of the
first two stages are still to be found amongst school-
boys who hand down "tips" for drawing men and
objects, and never dream of going to look at any
object for themselves, "Show me how to draw a
man," or "I haven't learnt how one does a pig yet,"
are phrases commonly heard amongst that kind of
practitioner. This rule of thumb tradition grows from
various sources, stray personal memories or observa-
tions, and fragmentary recollections of the work of
such schools of first-hand study from nature as the
Greek and Assyrian. The sciences in their turn
were very useful to those who would group figures
from chic> cultivate improvement of type, and intro-
duce tumbled and floating figures into great ceiling
As in Greece, so in later Europe, it was portraiture
that kept art sincere and vital. But in spite of that
influence, figure subjects remained long in the con-
ventional stage. Leonardo's constant appeal to nature
was not the mere commonplace saw that it is to-day.
He found it necessary to enforce his view on every
point ; on drawing, on perspective, on chiaroscuro, on
the value of colours at various distances, on the art
of modelling, which he describes as too often con-
sisting of an arbitrary passage from dark to light by
the use of two or three stock tones brushed together.
Is it wonderful that you can apply Morelli's principles
of criticism to the Pre-Raphaelite Italian schools : that
you can point to the thumbs, fingers, poses of the
head, ovals of the face, and schemes of colour that
the painters learnt by heart, and can even say from
whom they learnt? The later Venetians broke away,
and when you come to Velasquez, the system holds
good as little as it can in our own day. Velasquez
taught his eye so to report sight that he could render
the familiar or the unfamiliar, and could communicate
directly with what was before him without the inter-
vention of traditional rules or scientific study. His
name was for ever in the mouth of Carolus-Duran,
when he spoke of the past, but it was not to induce
his students to copy even Velasquez. For instance,
the influence of Corot was great at that time, and
I have heard Duran say, "When you go into the
fields you will not see a Corot; paint what you see."
He wished to direct their education so that his pupils
might attack nature from whatever side they pleased.
The prerogative of grasping what is before you does
not preclude you from afterwards learning to do with-
THE DWARF CALLED
"ANTONIO EL INGLESE*
HIS INFLUENCE UPON RECENT ART 107
out the model, and to paint what you imagine instead
of what you see, but it provides you a perpetual
stronghold in case of defeat, and a base of operations
for future excursions into the unknown.
In his "Manual of Oil Painting," the Hon. John
Collier says, "To whatever use he may mean to put
his art eventually, the one thing that he has to learn,
as a student^ is how to represent faithfully any object
that he has before him," and in another place, " there
is nothing so deadening to the imagination as to try
to express it with inadequate means." Velasquez, by
the admission of all the artists in Rome, alone painted
reality, the others, some decorative convention. When,
in the present century, truth of impression became the
governing ideal of art, Velasquez became the prophet
of the new schools. At that time in France, any
coterie of young painters hired a studio, and chose
for themselves the master whose art promised them
guidance in a sympathetic path. Having themselves
chosen the direction, the students were all the more
likely to bear with the weariness and the obstacles
of the road. For those who had asked his aid, Carolus-
Duran formulated the principles of his own art, and
enforced them by an appeal to the practice of others
and, before all, of Velasquez.
By his method of teaching, he hoped at least to
give the student a knowledge of what he saw, and
a logical grasp of the principles of sight After a
slight search of proportions with charcoal, the places
of masses were indicated with a rigger dipped in flow-
ing pigment No preparation in colour or monochrome
was allowed, but the main planes of the face must
be laid directly on the unprepared canvas with a
broad brush. These few surfaces three or four in
the forehead, as many in the nose, and so forth
must be studied in shape and place, and particularly
in the relative value of light that their various inclina-
tions produce. They were painted quite broadly in
even tones of flesh tint, and stood side by side like
pieces of a mosaic, without fusion of their adjacent
edges. No brushing of the edge of the hair into the
face was permitted, no conventional bounding of eyes
and features with lines that might deceive the student
by their expression into the belief that false structure
was truthful. In the next stage you were bound to
proceed in the same manner by laying planes upon
the junctions of the larger ones or by breaking the
larger planes into smaller subordinate surfaces. You
were never allowed to brush one surface into another,
you must make a tone for each step of a gradation.
Thus, you might never attempt to realise a tone or
a passage by some hazardous uncontrollable process.
M. Carolus-Duran believed that if you do not
approach tone by direct painting you will never know
what you can do, and will never discover whether you
really feel any given relation, or the values of any
contrasting surfaces. The first stages of this work
looked like portraits of wooden figures cut with a knife
in sharp-edged, unsoftened facets. The effect on the
Ruskinian of this hideous and pitiless logic was terrible.
Most of them sickened at the strong medicine, and fled
from the too heroic cure for the namby-pamby model-
ling which trusts for expression to a red line between
the lips, a contour line to the nose, and a careful rigger
track round the eyes and eyebrows. I have felt the
first spasms of this disgust, and I praise the master
HIS INFLUENCE UPON RECENT ART 109
who stayed, not the pupil who fled. If Duran was not
squeamish at criticising and touching these awful dolls,
why should the pupil take pride in the weakness of his
stomach. Duran had little patience with the aesthete
and conventional sentimentalist, and nothing amused
him more than the "loss of my originality," a plea
often put forward by men still blind to the ordinary
aspect of nature. He was pitiless to the transparent
colour dodge, the badger-hair hypocrisy, and the hope-
ful haphazard glazings of the sentimentalist who
cannot shape a nose, and would show all Browning's
works in a face.
This severe system, it must be remembered, served
merely as the gymnastic of art, it was a means of
education for the eye, not a trick of mannerism, or a
ready-made style of painting. Had not Duran's studio
been already described, I believe in the Nineteenth
Century \ I should have said more of the teaching of
a great painter whose only recognised master was
Velasquez. There is, however, one point that I must
mention, as it throws a light on the simplicity of
Velasquez's flesh tints and the surprising subtlety and
clearness of his modelling of shape. Everyone knows
that insubordination of the eye or that false estimation
of comparative importances in nature which led some
painters to exaggerate spots of local colour, definitions
of detail, reflected lights, or, in fact, anything dangerous
to the peace of the ensemble. They so treated the skin,
as to embarrass modelling, which is the first quality
in a face, for the sake of accidental spots, which are of
little count in that most even and luminous of sub-
If you will paint the trivial and the uncharacteristic,
your picture must be commonplace ; for what affects
us in a picture is that for which it was painted, the
things, in fact, for which the aspect of the canvas was
designed. It is not sufficient to put things into a work
of art, it is necessary to see that they look out from
it perspicuously and with the greatest possible effect
A certain pattern, a certain shape, may be somewhere
on a canvas, but it may lie there as well hid as the
secret of a puzzle picture. The person who never sees
anything particular to look at in a scene, alone thinks
he can show everything to equal advantage by a labour
of addition. The man with only a sense of decoration
is saved this last humiliation of mistaking trouble for
feeling, counting for being impressed, and measuring
for seeing. He knows that every extra marking on a
canvas increases the danger that a design may be
choked and modelling buried in a welter of dots or
a labyrinth of subordinate pattern. The English
stipple of colours, chiefly seen about the eyes, ears,
and the edges of shadows, always drew from Duran
his famous "Pourquoi ces trente six mille couleurs."
We saw them, of course, not in nature, but in our
memories of the cadmium, lake, green, and blue spots
of the English pictures of that date. It was an easy
task to seize on the excuse for these coloured spots,
a difficult one to embrace the relations of the ensemble
that reduced them to their true insignificance. The
ornaments of an exaggerated colouring may be com-
pared to the graces of rhyme in an accented language,
such as English. Dignity stumbles over these recur-
rent obstacles, and if the sense skips them cleverly,
it is at the expense of earnestness and reality.
The sight of Velasquez at Madrid does not make
PHILIP iv (OLD)
HIS INFLUENCE UPON RECENT ART in
us look upon the works of Regnault, Courbet, Manet,
Carolus-Duran, Monet, Henner, Whistler, Degas,
Sargent, and the rest, as plagiary. It rather gives
the man of our century confidence that he is following
a path not unlike that trod to such good purpose by
the great Spaniard. To reach the goal of impres-
sionism cost Velasquez thirty years of exploration, and
then it was gained only for the expression of his own
views. Velasquez, except in his few landscapes, never
applied his principles to the thorough realisation of
plein-air effects. Thus, the path pursued by men of
the present century, though by no means identical,
passes through similar stages and progressions. De-
corative formulas, and the successive realism of various
separate qualities subject, form, colour, and atmos-
phere bestrew the path from Gros to Manet, just as
they mark the stages in the development of the solitary
Corot and Millet took his principles into the open
air; the first painting landscape with figures, the
second figures with landscapes. Of these Corot was
the purest impressionist, Millet hanging more evidently
on the chain of Romantics from Michael Angelo and
Rembrandt to his own Barbizonian school Regnault,
especially in the face of his " Marshal Prim," 1 shows a
fellow-feeling with Velasquez in his second period of
the great equestrian portraits. Duran avoided bright
coloured subjects less than Velasquez, and reduced his
handling to a more formal and logical pattern.
Henner, half a Classic and half a Romantic by nature,
took up the nude and worked it on more distinctly
decorative motifs of colour, and on a softer but less
subtle principle of modelling. Whistler combined a
morbid Japanese grace with the Spanish austerity of
impression, and saw things with a raffinJs attraction to
elegance, and the quintessence of modishness. In
"The Nocturnes," in "The Japaneseries," in "Miss
Alexander," in the portrait of his mother, he breaks
away into a game of his own. If not more original
than others, Manet was perhaps the strongest and
widest in his originality of all the revivers of impres-
sionism. He is as various in his moods as daylight,
and, except in one or two heads, such as "Le Bon
Bock," shows nothing of his long study of Velasquez,
unless in the underlying convention common to all
THE LESSON OF IMPRESSIONISM
THE more one sees of artists, the more one learns of
their dependence on the model; the more one sees
them eager to study the thing painted. But they apply
to nature for different purposes, for anatomy, for surface
character, for colour, for details, for movements, for
values, for an impression of effect, for arrangements to
fill a given space. Great painters of all schools from
Leonardo to Whistler have so often acknowledged
nature as the mistress that the admission becomes a
truism were it .not capable of being understood in so
many different ways. It is a fresh reading of this
precept that makes a new art; other considerations
then become means to an end. Composition, colour,
brushing, etc., receive a new consideration. Their
effectiveness and their possibilities of style are over-
hauled and esteemed according as they can forward the
expression of the central conception of natural beauty.
Carducho, a colleague of Velasquez, waged war
against the influence of naturalism in art, exalting
traditional and learned painting above sensitiveness to
nature. But Michael Angelo, a fountain of learning
and a head source of idealism, rose from the bowels of
nature, springing, it is true, from another soil than
Velasquez, from the objective rather than the subjective
position. He grubbed into the depths of anatomy and
studied nature as it was, concerning himself com-
paratively little with its aspect to the eye or its relation
to the nerves of vision. To the learned decorator it
seemed but a trivial thing to catch the flavour of life
whilst filling a panel, to recreate in the subtle structures
of the eye vibrations of a long hereditary past, and to
recommend a present sentiment to the spectator's old
habits of visual emotion. However, as we have seen in
the history of mathematical invention, a new calculus
is never to be counted useless. It is like the seeds
which they say lie everywhere in the soil ready to
sprout after fires or any favourable changes in the soil.
So naturalism has grown like a grain of mustard-seed
and the impressionism of Velasquez overshadows art
The test of a new thing is not utility, which may appear
at any moment like a shoot with the first favouring
breath of spring. The test is the kind and amount of
human feeling and intellect put into the work. Could
any fool do it? Now, in this matter of depicting
truth there are eyesights of all grades of breadth, of
grandeur, of subtlety, and art has more than the
delicacy of a tripos examination in tailing out as
in a foot-race all the talents and capabilities of the
The great idealist of Italy was admirable, but he is
dead, his work is done, and when it was doing it was
at least based on matter, on anatomy, on the laws of
decoration. There is a modern idealist whose whole
cause seems to be hatred of matter, of the truth, of the
visible, of the real, and a consequent craving for the
spiritual, the non-material. That . this man should
choose painting or sculpture, the most material, the
THE GOD MARS
THE LESSON OF IMPRESSIONISM 115
most tied to representation of the arts seems indeed a
Yet one cannot help feeling some sympathy with
those who start on this hopeless cruise, who wreck the
ship whilst steering to some visionary island of spiritu-
alism. They are as those who dream of ideal love,
and yet forgive no shortcoming, and persistently despise
and misuse ordinary human affections, as those who
wish for a perfect society and cannot take pains to
understand their own day or their own country. This
temperament is ruinous to the artist He neglects the
material base of art, despises drawing and modelling,
and sacrifices the conquest of nature as readily as a
faddist, the well-being of a great empire to his dreams.
The true artist's thought is of his material, of its
beauties, of its limitations, of its propriety to the task
proposed. He has to achieve beauty, but under con-
ditions of fact, of decoration, of a medium. It may
be seen in the work of Velasquez that there is no base
reality ; that the commonplace lies only in the method
of a mean, a small, and an inartistic eye. It was not
only his immediate subjects but the whole art of seeing
that Velasquez dignified in his paintings.
Leon Pelouse, the French landscape-painter, used
to say that the gift of the naturalist lay in the power
of recreating the eye of childhood. When the child
first sees before he can walk, before he can know
what all these coloured spots of various shapes and
strengths may mean he receives from a field of sight
an impression of the values of colour and the forces
of definition utterly unadulterated by knowledge of
distance, depth, shape, utility, and the commercial,
religious, or sexual importance of objects, Indeed,
he is not biassed by that chief disturber of impression,
the' knowledge that any objects exist ; in fact, he sees
men as trees walking. He sees patterns, and it takes
him years to know what these patterns, these changing
gradations, these varying smudges signify, and when
he has learnt that, in proportion as he has succeeded,
so he has ceased to know the original vision, and to
perceive mentally the signs by which he originally
determined the truth.
If the conventionality of an art that expresses three
dimensions by two was not enough to assure us, then
the foregoing statement must make it certain that the
modern painter should concern himself very much
about what seems, and scarcely at all about what is.
Yet people will tell you that it is just the impressionist
picture which looks strange to them, and the illogical
dictionary of small objects which looks natural. The
observation that a horse at a distance is not of the
same shape as a horse near at hand is at least as old as
Leonardo. He describes how the limbs disappear first,
the neck and head next, as the distance increases, until
you are aware only of an oblong or oval splash. But
practice lagged long behind theory, and there are
painters to-day, especially in England, who would not
paint the real appearance of an object at different dis-
tances. They are behind the scenes, as it were, and,
knowing that they are to produce a horse, they paint it
exactly as they have studied it near at hand, only they
make it small, like a toy, because it is far off. Some
hundreds of years ago they would have refused even
that concession to the then strange and novel art of
perspective. These toy boats on the sea, these toy
cows in the meadows, these toy soldiers in the battle-
ST. ANTHONY VISITING ST. PAUL
THE LESSON OF IMPRESSIONISM 117
field, are not big things seen far off, but little miniatures
near at hand, compelled by perspective to occupy a false
position on the canvas.
Many Royal Academy pictures, and the most popular
ones, are still full of these comic little dolls, which
pretend to realism of effect Such rude compilations
of objects, studied at different focuses, are easily shown
to be logically defective, but it is less easy to perceive
the more subtle disaster incurred by a similar fault in
figure subjects, where everything takes place somewhat
close at hand. Comparison of the definitions and
gradations of a fine Velasquez with those of an ordinary
picture is, perhaps, the most ready way to perceive the
vulgarity of the cheap method which exaggerates out-
lines, and replaces tone and gradation by false explana-
tory definition. To draw a silly line in a mouth, eye,
or nose, where no line should be, merely because you
have been taught painting by means of chalk-drawing,
implies a gross violation of the lighting of a portrait,
just as putting toy boats and cows in the distance im-
plies a contradiction of perspective.
What is the harm, you may ask, of painting a picture
piecemeal, since it is on the flat, and may be viewed
from any distance? Cannot .the canvas always be
easily embraced by the eye as a whole? Quite so, and,
because it then fails to give a truthful impression of the
field it offers, it deceives expectation and violates the
confidence of the eye. The compilation of sketches,
or focuses of impression, induces false perspective, false
values, false colour, a false proportion of detail to mass,
and a combination of interests in false relation to the
interests of the whole picture. Velasquez may have
painted "Las Meninas" how he pleased, yet he kept
before himself a single impression of the scene, and
therefore he succeeds in conveying it to the spectator.
He may have studied each figure separately; he may
have stood nearer to them in so doing than he makes
the spectator appear to stand, but, if so, his artistic
conviction of the true aspect of the ensemble was suffi-
ciently strong to prevent him from executing his picture
solely for the sake of each square yard he successively
tackled. How many pictures of the scope of "Las
Meninas," or " The Spinners," comfortably fill the eye
as they do, and absorb the attention so justly and evenly
all over that, at a certain distance, the sight neither
wanders nor sticks at special points?
Everybody knows the condition under which a man
receives an effective visual impression, one that goes
to mould his view of the world. Whether he is looking
at a piece of still life, or is standing in a vast landscape,
he looks in a half dream ; he ceases to think, to feel his
own identity, for his whole consciousness is absorbed
in the eye. At these moments a certain focus is used,
a certain width of field is embraced, and these are not
determined by the man's conscious will, but by the
nature of his impression. To shift that focus to make
that field larger or smaller is to destroy the mood which
produced the impression.
If a cardboard of nearly ten inches wide be held at
arm's-length it can be comfortably regarded as a whole,
and of course any view, however distant, that it might
cover. But if it be placed at forty feet from the eye,
not without intentional effort or strain can the whole
attention be exclusively centred upon its area. On the
other hand, if it be held at about ten inches from the
eye one can embrace as a whole no more than such a
DONA MARGARITA MARIA
THE LESSON OF IMPRESSIONISM 119
small bit of it as would cover the entire cardboard
held at arm's-length. It would be wrong to say that it
is impossible to paint a larger field of sight than is
naturally embraced as one whole by the eye, but it is
certain that one would be compelled to determine the
force of many values or definitions in this too wide field
by reason instead of by feeling, Safety would lie only
in a very conventional line of treatment Many realists,
however, would paint the scene covered by the card-
board held at ten inches from the eye by adding
together innumerable little impressions of fields covered
by the cardboard at forty feet from the eye. As far as
a perception of the ensemble goes, they remain as much
in the dark as a child of the final result of a long sum
To lay down strict rules in such matters of feeling
as the width of an area of impression would be to
fetter practice, but it is curious to note that Leonardo,
centuries ago, suggested that the painter should be
supposed to stand at a distance from his picture of
three times its largest measurement It was Leonardo
also who proposed to show the effect of distance, on
local colour by painting on a sheet of glass held up
before the subject of a picture. The value of the
green of an elm at a hundred yards from you could
be thus compared with the value of that same greep.
at two or three hundred yards. In the same way, if
any one desires to convince himself of the subtleties
of natural definitions, let him take a brush and pretend
to paint, on the pane of a window, the view which
he sees through the glass. When he would follow
the sinuosities of form, obey the subtle changes of
definition, do justice to the myriad delicacies of detail,
he will confess that he has undertaken a task too
delicate for the nicest of Pre-Raphaelite nigglers. It
will be plain to him that the scene must be " treated,"
and the main relations alone given. Twigs, stones,
slates, grass, leaves, can only be suggested ; an attempt
to define them really could result in nothing but a
coarse travesty, which must inevitably lessen the effect
of the more important markings. By varying his
distance from the pane, the experimenter may con-
vince himself that the difficulties of painting the scene
increase as the field of sight widens. He will see that
a wide angle must be treated differently from a narrow
one, a motif with one bold, detaching mass, differently
from one containing several smaller importances.
Besides meeting these more evident exigencies, he
must allow something for personal feeling. He will
find out how to realise on canvas the impression of
some object, how it should be placed on the canvas,
how much field shall surround it, and what portion
of that field, if any, represents a space lightly skimmed
by the mind, but a space nevertheless necessary to
impart some quality or some meaning to the chief
It may be argued that you have only to imagine a
glass subtending to the eye, the same angle as the
said pane of glass, but much farther off, and a brush
fifty yards long to solve the difficulties of landscape
painting. Only in life-size painting of figure or still
life can this be realised practically, and then only
mechanical difficulties are removed. The problems
of how to employ modelling, relative forces of defini-
tion, and range of colour, in treating 1 scenes of various
widths, depths, and fulness of interest, still remain to
THE LESSON OF IMPRESSIONISM 121
be solved by artistic feeling. But in this life-size
painting the task is more evident, at least to the
reason, and for this cause, possibly, impressionism was
first fully made manifest in the work of a portrait
People who use both the terms, realism and impres-
sionism, discriminate their meanings, and certainly
those who paint impressionistically will not confound
their practice with that of some realists. But many
people, in speaking of impressionism, imply that it
must be unmodelled, scarce drawn, roughly surfaced,
ugly, at least commonplace in subject Others hold
that whatever else it may do, it must represent, like
an instantaneous photograph, passing movements by
blotches and blurs, and show you strange and really
unimpressionistic attitudes never seen in life, but
mechanically revealed by the camera. The work of
Velasquez should be sufficient evidence to persuade
them that they misunderstand the question.
Let us look at some of the uses of the term realism.
After an age dealing with saints in the clouds, or gods
in Olympus, a man may be called a realist because he
paints real life, a battle, the coronation of an emperor,
or boors drinking. This distinction of subject has
been shown on an earlier page to have little weight in
the art of painting; and one may observe that, after
courtly subjects are exhausted, this bastard realism of
motif is confined to low life. Nevertheless, there is
a realism, not literary, but pictorial; the realism of
treatment which is applicable to any subject, religious,
mythological, heroic, courtly, or lowlived, even to still
life and landscape. Orpheus, Encjymion, Hope, Love,
Caesar crossing the Rubicon, or a man digging
potatoes, may any of them be conceived realistically
and painted from the model But when we admit
this, and discriminate realism of subject from realism
of treatment, we still meet with various degrees of
realism. This man may be realistic in form only, and
fanciful in lighting and relations of value. That man,
again, may idealise form and yet paint it under a
realistic effect In fact, realism of treatment depends
on a piecemeal sort of observation which may be taken
in instalments by successive schools. There is a
realism of drawing, of effect, of local colour, of atmos-
phere, of values, and all and any of these are pictorial
in their nature.
Now, impressionism allows many and divers impres-
sions, but each records a truth of general aspect The
whole effect of the canvas conveys a definite idea
which has ordered every element drawing, colour,
and definition. Schools of painters are not, of course,
divided absolutely into decorative, realist, and impres-
sionist; but we name them after the prevailing in-
tention of their works. The difference between realism
and impressionism may be illustrated out of the past by
the contrast between the Eclectics and the Naturalists
on the one hand, and Velasquez on the other. The
art of the first added, the other sprouted fresh qualities ;
one held its virtues in solution, the other in chemical
Those who have not been taught from the beginning
in an impressionistic school must remember difficulties
which beset them when they were working from nature,
and will recall how they only slowly began to appre-
ciate the meaning and the necessity of working from
a single impression. How often it seemed to them
THE LESSON OF IMPRESSIONISM 123
impossible to finish a picture. The more closely they
applied themselves to study and complete a part, the
more it seemed to change to their eyes, and to
invalidate their previous observations. After having
left his canvas for a rest such a man came back to
find this or that edge cut as if with a knife, this
shadow which should be blue and broad, hot and
speckled, and certainly all the mystery, grandeur, or
delicacy of the natural model painted out in common-
place. Again and again he tries, and each time that
he brings a fresh eye to bear upon the model, he
finds that all its characteristic beauty has evaporated
from his work. He may never attempt to enter upon
completeness, he is kept in the ante-room of pre-
Now, all his separate observations may have been
true, but they were all made under different condi-
tions of attention to the scene ; whereas, until every
part of the picture has been observed in subservience
to the impression of the whole, completeness can
never be even begun. The largeness, the dignity, the
swim of nature seen under a distributed attention is
continually contradicted by the appearances which
result from separate observations made upon smaller
fields of sight A shadow on the yellow sand will
alternately seem cold or warm, blue or orange, accord-
ing to the concentration or diffusion of the sight
Everyone knows that when a shadow is looked at
alone it appears more full of colours than when the
surrounding sunlit parts of the view are taken in and
are allowed to operate on the shadow.
Many people must have seen English painters who
went out of their way to confuse their eyesight and
destroy all unity of impression. Some begin a large
landscape at the top of one corner, and finish it all
the way down bit by bit Others make use of all
kinds of dodges to deceive themselves as to the im-
pression a natural scene has made on their senses.
These make a tunnel with their hands to shut out
everything but the one patch of colour they are
matching. These hold- up white paper to gauge a
value; these match tints upon a palette-knife held
against the hues of nature ; these cut holes in a card
to look through; and these peep through their legs,
their half-shut eyes, or into a small black mirror.
Such devices confound and obliterate the natural
impression when they are used as a means of finish-
ing a picture. Yet they have some of them a true
use, which is to persuade a beginner of the relativity
of tones and definitions, and their dependence upon
general impressions. Surely, however, it cannot but
lead to painting false aspects if one should try to
learn anything particular from nature seen under
such conditions. I have often seen men painting
sunsets who would shade out the sky with a hat or
hand that they might see what they were pleased to
call the true colour of the ground. Of course, the
grass instantly became of quite another colour to what
it had been when the sky entered the painter's eyes
at the same time. But they seemed unaware that
they were painting by this process two quite different
effects in one frame.
English teaching has been contrary to impressionism,
and Velasquez has not been sufficiently, or at any
rate rightly, admired. Many painters and writers of
influence have condemned impressionism in a manner
THE LESSON OF IMPRESSIONISM 125
which showed that they neither knew nor cared any-
thing about it Whatever has been gained in England
in this direction lately has been gained at the bayonet
point of abuse and strong language. The English
schools never taught one to "place" a figure or cast
on the canvas. They would not permit of blocking
in either squarely or roundly. They expected you
to begin a thing by finishing. They accustomed the
student from the outset of his career to overlook
subtle differences of large planes, to miss the broader
sweep of a line for the sake of tight detailed modelling,
and the exaggerated indenting of small bays in an
outline. They gave gold medals to chalk drawings
in which every little muscle was modelled up to a
high light, whilst an important change of plane, such
as the set-back of the chest, was shown by a wrong
general value. It is not wonderful that people so
taught saw only one side of the art of Velasquez,
and that their system of teaching is now abandoned
for one which has been, to a large extent, based OB
the practice of the great Spanish impressionist
CATALOGUE OF THE WORKS OF
AND OF CERTAIN WORKS ATTRIBUTED TO THE
ARTIST, ARRANGED ACCORDING TO THE
GALLERIES IN WHICH THEY
Where the measurements of the pictures are given, the height
always precedes the width*
Where numbers are given, thus [No. 6.], they are the numbers
of the Catalogue of the Gallery. These cannot of course be guaran-
teed^ as alterations are not unfrequently made in the arrangement
of the pictures.
An asterisk denotes that the picture is reproduced in thi$
CATALOGUE OF WORKS.
METROPOLITAN MUSEUM, NEW YORK.
A FRUIT PIECE.
YALE COLLEGE, U.S.A,
A MALE PORTRAIT.
THE PICTURE GALLERY, VIENNA.
THE INFANTA MARIA TERESA. 4 ft. x 3 ft. 6 in. [No. 609.]
DON FELIPE PROSPER, SON OF PHILIP IV. (1657-1661).
4 ft. 3 in. x 3 ft. 3 in. [No. 611.]
PHILIP IV. 4 ft 2 in. x 2 ft. 9 in. [No. 612.]
A YOUNG MAN HOLDING A FLOWER AND LAUGHING.
2 ft. 9 in. x 2 ft i in. [No. 613.]
THE INFANTA MARGARITA MARIA AS A CHILD. 4 ft 3 in.
x 3 ft 4 in. [No. 615.]
DON BALTAZAR CARLOS. 4 ft 3 in. x 3 ft. 4 in. [No. 616.]
THE ARCHDUCHESS MARIA ANNA. 4 ft. 2 in. x 3 ft. 3 in.
ANOTHER PORTRAIT OF THE SAME. 4 ft 2 in. x 3 ft. 3 in.
THE INFANTA MARGARITA TERESA AS A CHILD. 3 ft. 6 in.
x 2 ft. 10 in. [No. 619.] (See Frankfort)
PORTRAIT OF THE SAME. 4 ft. x 3 ft.2 in. [No. 621.]
THE QUEEN ISABELLA OF SPAIN, DAUGHTER OF HENRY
IV., AND FIRST WIFE OF PHILIP IV. OF SPAIN (1602-
1644). 4 ft. 4 in, x 3 ft, 4 in. [No. 622.]
I 3 o CATALOGUE OF WORKS
THE INFANTE DON BALTAZAR CARLOS, ELDEST SON OF
PHILIP IV. (1629-1686). 6 ft. 10 in. x 3 ft. 5 in.
This picture is said to have been presented by Philip IV.
to Charles I. of England. A boy about ten years old is
standing, bareheaded, by a table covered with red velvet.
He wears armour enriched with gold, a falling lace
collar, a red scarfj red embroidered breeches, and steel
gauntlets ; he has a baton in his right hand, and his left
rests on a sword; at his right is a red velvet chair.
A replica of this picture is at the Hague.
NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON.
PHILIP IV. or SPAIN HUNTING THE WILD BOAR.
6 ft 2 in. x 10 ft. 3 in. [No. 197.]
The hunt is taking place in an enclosed piece of ground,
hi the front of which are many spectators.
Formerly in the Royal Palace at Madrid. Presented by
Ferdinand VII. to the late Lord Cowley>from whom it was
purchased in 1846.
THE ADORATION OP THE SHEPHERDS. 7 ft 7 in. x 5 ft.
6 in. [No. 232.]
An early picture in the style of Spagnoletto.
Purchased for Louis Philippe by Baron Taylor from tJie
Count del Aguila and for the National Gallery in 1853.
A DEAD WARRIOR. 3 ft, 5 in. x 5 ft 5 in. Engraved, in
1864, by Flameng, for the "Gazette des Beaux-arts."
Known as "El Orlando Muerto," or Roland dead. On
right the fully dressed and armed body of a man, life-size, is
seen lying on its back, the right hand placed on his chest,
the left resting on the hilt of his sword. The figure is
considerably foreshortened. Over the dead man's feet,
suspended to a branch, is a small brass lamp ; on either
side human skulls and other bones. In the background
storm-driven clouds, with the first faint dawn of day
B Purchased in Paris, at the sale of the Pourtales Collection
in 1865, and commonly ascribed to Velasquez.
BRITISH ISLES 131
PHILIP IV., KING OF SPAIN. 2 ft. i in. x i ft 8 in.
Bust, life-size, in black and gold ; head seen nearly in
Formerly in the collection of Prince Demidoff^ Florence.
Purchased in Paris from M. Sana in 1865.
PHILIP IV. OF SPAIN. 6 ft 6 in. x 3 ft 8 in. [No. 1129.]
Full length, life-size, three-quarter face turned to the right
Dressed in a doublet and trunk hose, white sleeves and
brown gloves. From a chain round his neck is suspended
the Order of the Golden Fleece. In his right hand a
letter, on which the painter's name is inscribed; his left
hand rests on the hilt of his sword.
Purchased in London^ at the sale of the Hamilton Palace
pictures ) in 1882.
* CHRIST AT THE COLUMN. 5 ft. 3 in. x 6 ft 8 in.
[No* 1 148.] See illustration facing p. 60.
Presented by the Riqht Hon. Sir John Sarnie, G.CJS.
(afterwards Lord Savite), in 1883.
* THE ADMIRAL PULIDO PAREJA. 6 ft 9. in. x 3 ft 8 in,
[No. 1315.] See illustration facing p. 40.
Signed and dated, 1639. Palomino is die chief authority
for this picture. He says it was done with unusually long
brushes. He mentions the signature and inscription.
Another version, with accessories added later, belongs to
the Duke of Bedford.
Purchased in 1890 out of the Longford Castle Collection.
CHRIST IN THE HOUSE OF MARTHA, i ft 11 in. X3 ft.
4 in. [No. 1375.]
On left, a kitchenmaid, half-length, stands at a table, while
a woman standing- behind touches her on the shoulder.
On the table a dish of fish, plate of eggs, and water jug.
In background, through aperture in the wall, is seen the
Saviour seated, addressing Martha, who stands, and Mary,
who kneels before him.
Bequeathed by the Right Hon. Sir William H. Gregory
SKETCH OF THE DUEL IN THE PRADO NEAR MADRID. a ft
10 in. x 4 ft [No. 1376.]
132 CATALOGUE OF WORKS
In the foreground, four cavaliers, accompanied by an
attendant with pony, watching a horseman, who gallops
towards their opponents, in the middle distance. Beyond,
a hilly country, with grey sky.
Some of the figures in the foreground resemble the
group in Velasquez's " Boar Hunt"
Bequeathed by the Right Hon. Sir William H. Gregory
* A BETROTHAL. 6 ft. 7 in. x 5 ft. n in. [No. 1434.]
At a table on an elevated platform a cavalier, with long
hair, in dark brown cloth, and wearing a mantle on which
is the cross of St lago* He holds a pen in his right hand ;
his left hand rests on the shoulder of a child gaily dressed.
Behind her, on the extreme right, a duenna or attendant.
To the left, behind the table, are two young men. Below,
in front of the platform, the upper part of two figures of the
size of life are seen.
Formerly in the possession of Sir Edwin Landseer^ RJi*
Presented by Lord Savile in 1895.
DULWICH COLLEGE PICTURE GALLERY.
*PHILIP IV. 4 ft 2 in. x 3 ft. 2 in.
Three-quarter length figure, life-size, turned to the left ;
red doublet with silver embroidery, white silk sleeves, and
white falling collar \ the left arm on his sword ; in left hand
his hat ; in right his staff.
This shows the king in his dress as Commander-in-chief
at the age of thirty-nine or forty. Both this canvas and the
similar one in the Lyne-Stephens collection have been
considered as old copies of the original Fraga picture.
From the Bouchardon and Tronchin Collections.
HAMPTON COURT GALLERY,
ELIZABETH DE BOURBON, QUEEN OF PHILIP IV.
These are attributed to Velasquez.
HERTFORD HOUSE GALLERY, LONDON.
A LADY WITH A FAN. 3 ft. x 2 ft. 3 in.
From the Aquado Collection*
THE INFANTE DON BALTAZAR CARLOS ON HORSEBACK.
From the Rogers Collection.
BRITISH ISLES 133
THE INFANTE DON BALTAZAR CARLOS, AT THREE YEARS
OLD, WITH A BATON. 3 ft. 10 in. x 3 ft. i in.
He is in a grey dress with violet scarf, and wears a sword.
From the Standish Collection.
THE INFANTE DON BALTAZAR CARLOS.
AN INFANTA OF SPAIN.
A standing, full-length figure in black dress with white
LANDSCAPE WITH A BOAR HUNT. A sketch for the
National Gallery Picture.
Bought at Lord Northwictts sofa
THE COUNT-DUKE D'OLIVAREZ.
FORSTER M. ALLEYNE, ESQ.
DON GIOVANNI JACOPO THEODORO TRIVULZI (1597-1657).
Created a Prince of the Empire 1622, Cardinal 1626,
and subsequently a Grandee of Spain, Viceroy of Sicily
1647, Governor of Milan 1656. 7 ft x 3 ft. 10 in.
He wears a black coat, red cloak and hat, hi^h buff boots,
and the collar of the Golden Fleece ; with right hand he
rests baton against his thigh, his left is on his hip ; to the
right, at his feet, are cuirass and helmet New Gall. 1895.
THE DUKE OF BEDFORD, WOBURN ABBEY,
DON ADRIAN PULIDO PAREJA. 6 ft 5 in, x 3 ft 6 in.
Full-length, standing. Black dress with white sleeves
and large collar and the red cross of Santiago. A naval
engagement seen through an opening to the right
C. F. A, BREUL, ESQ.
THE DUKE OF MEDINA, x ft. 8 in. x i ft. 6 in.
Black dress ; wide lace collar, R.A. 1896.
RALPH BANKES, ESQ., KINGSTON LACY, WIM-
LAS MBNI&AS. A sketch for the Madrid picture.
I 3 4 CATALOGUE OF WORKS
CARDINAL GASPAR DE BBRJA, ARCHBISHOP OF SEVILLE
PHILIP IV., STANDING. Painted for the first Marquis of
From the Altamira Collection.
A SPANISH INFANTE WITH DOGS. 4 ft. 4 in. x 3 ft. 4 in.
A boy with a gun and three dogs. R~A. 1886.
HERCULES B. BRABAZON, ESQ.
MARIANA OF AUSTRIA, SECOND WIFE OF PHILIP IV.
In black dress, scalloped lace collarette, and gold chain.
Said to have come from the Altamira Gallery. RJL.
MARQUIS OF BRISTOL, ICWORTH PARK.
DON BALTAZAR CARLOS. 5 ft x 2 ft. n in.
Full length of boy standing with a gun in his hand, and
three dogs beside him. Brown dress and cap, lace collar,
CHARLES BUTLER, ESQ., 3 CONNAUGHT PLACE, W.
POPE INNOCENT X. 3 ft. 2 in. x 4 ft. 5 in.
Seated, wearing a white linen robe with white sleeves,
a Knen collar, red velvet cap and cape. In his left
hand is a paper inscribed : ALLA SANT N*2 SIGH
INNOCENTIO X9. PER.
A replica is in the Doria Palace at Rome.
THE EARL OF CARLISLE, CASTLE HOWARD,
DON BALTAZAR CARLOS, ELDEST SON OF PHILIP IV,
(1629-1646), AND HIS DWARF. 4 ft. 7 in. x a ft. 8 in.
A child with fair hair and dark eyes, in black velvet
petticoat embroidered with gold, a scan crossing his breast,
a sword in one hand, and a staff in the other, is chasing a
dwarf, who runs away with a silver bauble and an apple.
A black velvet hat with white feather lies on a red cushion
to the right
JUAN DE PAREJA, a Moorish slave, who was in the service
BRITISH ISLES 135
of Velasquez, and became a great painter. 2 ft. 5 in.
A mulatto, with broad white collar falling over a grey
A replica of Lord Radnor's picture. See page 139.
MARIANA OF AUSTRIA, SECOND WIFE OF PHILIP
IV. (1634-1696). i ft. 9 in. x i ft. 5 in.
In a white fur tippet, with chains of jewels, hair in rolls
and adorned with butterflies.
MISS COHEN, ADELAIDE CRESCENT, BRIGHTON.
A MAN. 2 ft. 6 in. x 2 ft
Half-length, life-sized. He is wearing armour, with sash
over right shoulder, white lace collar, long black hair.
MONS. A CASSO.
PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG MAN. i ft. 10 in. x i ft. 4 in.
Black dress and white collar, long hair. R.A* 1895.
SIR FRANCIS COOK, BART., DOUGHTY HOUSE,
Two PEASANTS: A KITCHEN SCENE. 3 ft. 3 in. x
3 ft 10 in.
Woman, seated, making an omelette in an earthen pan ;
on left a boy with melon under his arm, and offering her a
wine-flask ; in front various utensils.
PORTRAIT OF THE PAINTBR. i ft. 10 in. x i ft. 6 In.
Long black hair and moustache, black coat and golilla ;
in front hangs a gold chain with the badge of Santiago*
Acquired by Lord Cowley when Ambassador in Madrid.
An injured copy of this, in which ike Santiago Cross is
omitted, is at Valencia.
MARIANA OF AUSTRIA, SECOND WIFE OF PHILIP IV.
(1634-1696). 2 ft. 2 in. x i ft 10 in.
In dark green dress, with large puffed sleeves, gauze
collarette trimmed with narrow ribbon and having large
rosette in front Hair low on both shoulders, adorned with
rosette of brown ribbons.
Probably painted immediately after her marriage, as in
wearing her hair long she has evidently not yet adopted
the Spanish coiffure of the period.
1 3 6 CATALOGUE OF WORKS
A SPANISH BEGGAR. 4 ft 6 in. x 4 ft.
Man in ragged dress, leaning on a crutch, holding in his
right hand a wine-flask, resting on a globe on which is a
landscape with peasants dancing before a bodega.
On the frame is inscribed: Viva el vino leche de los
brought from Spain by the French officer. General
Caulaincourty and purchased of him by an English officer
at Genoa in 1818.
THE DUKE OF DEVONSHIRE, DEVONSHIRE
A LADY. 3 ft. 2 in. x i ft 6 in.
Dressed in a lemon-coloured silk gown, with wide sleeves
and white lace collar. She holds a mantilla and hand-
GEORGE DONALDSON, ESQ.
A CHORISTER. 2 ft. 8 in. x 2 ft. 3 in.
Half-length figure standing to the right ; white surplice ;
holding open music-book with both hands.
THE EARL OF ELLESMERE, BRIDGEWATER
A NATURAL SON OF THE COUNT-DUKE D'OLIVAREZ.
From the Altamira Collection.
A replica of the one at Florence.
THE EARL OF ELGIN, BROOME HALL, FIFE.
DON GASPAR DE GUZMAN THE COUNT-DUKE D'OLIVAREZ.
4 ft i in. x 3 ft. 4 in.
In armour on a white horse standing on its hind legs.
He wears a richly-embroidered crimson scarf and brown
boots, and carries a baton.
A DOG WITH A BONE.
SIR WILLIAM FARRER.
VIEW OF THE ALAMEDA AT SEVILLE. 5ft.4in.X3ft.6in.
from the Louis Philippe Collection.
BRITISH ISLES 137
EXECUTORS OF THE LATE SIR CLARE FORD.
DON CASPAR DE GUZMAN THE COUNT-DUKE D'OLIVAREZ
(1587-1643). 2 ft. 2 in. x i ft. 10 in.
In black, wearing *.golilla or stiff linen collar, over which
is a cloak, partly concealing the green cross of Alcantara
on his breast
Purchased by Richard Ford from the Madrid Gallery of
DONA MARIANA OF AUSTRIA, SECOND WIFE OF PHILIP IV.
(1634-1696). 4 ft. 9 in. x 3 ft. 8 in.
In black hooped dress and basque, double row of pearls
crossing from shoulder to shoulder. A clock is on a table
to the right
ISABEL DE BOURBON, FIRST WIFE OF PHILIP IV.
(1602-1644). 2 ft. i in. x i ft. 7 in.
Three-quarter bust to the left ; black embroidered dress
and ruff, ribbons in her hair, and a rope of pearls crossing
her breast and shoulders.
Painted in 1623.
From General Meadfs Collection.
A PEASANT BOY FEEDING FOWLS. 4 ft. 8 in. x 6 ft. 5 in,
LORD HEYTESBURY, HEYTESBURY.
A SKETCH FOR THE PICTURE AT MADRID CALLED "L.ES
[It contains only six figures, while the Madrid picture has
CAPTAIN HOLFORD, HOLFORD HOUSE.
A FIELD-MARSHAL IN ARMOUR.
PHILIP IV. 2 ft 7 in. x 2 ft.
Half-length figure in close-fitting' black silk habit, white
golilla^ and the chain of the Order of the Golden Fleece.
Two superb portraits also, perhaps the finest in England,
one of Philip IY. standing, and the companion one of
W. HOLMAN HUNT, ESQ.
Sx, SEBASTIAN. Panel, i ft 6 in. x i ft. i in.
Small, almost nude, three-quarter length figure of the
saint, standing facing the spectator, one arm tied above
his head, the other behind him.
I 3 8 CATALOGUE OF WORKS
EDWARD HUTH, ESQ.
PHILIP IV. (1621-1665). 6 ft. 10 in. x 4 ft. i in.
Full-length life-sized figure in black dress, wearing the
Order of the Golden Fleece. Cloak thrown back over his
shoulder; left hand, which rests on his sword, holds his
hat; in his right hand is a paper inscribed "SEN OR";
both hands are gloved. On the right, through an open
door, is an inner room, at the end of which is a pyx on a
From the Louis Philippe Collection.
DO#A ISABEL DE BOURBON, FIRST WIFE OF PHILIP IV.
(1602-1644). 6 ft. 7 in. x 3 ft. 8 in.
Wearing black hooped dress, with border of leaves of
gold, white ruf^ feather in hair ; in left hand a Chinese fan.
DON CASPAR DE GUZMAN THE COUNT-DUKE D'OLIVARBZ
(1587-1643). 6 ft. 9 in. x 3 ft. 7 in.
In a richly-enibroidered black dress, over which is a
short cloak, bearing the green cross of Alcantara, a linen
collar, low shoes, and a broad gold chain across his breast ;
in right hand a wand, as Master of the Horse.
MARQUIS OF LANSDOWNE, BOWOOD, CALNE.
THE COUNT-DUKE D'OLIVAREZ.
From the Collection of Don Manuel Godoy.
POPE INNOCENT X.
A replica of the Palazzo Doria Portrait.
A CHILD IN BED.
LANDSCAPE, WITH TWO MOUNTED CAVALIERS AND OTHER
FIGURES, SEATED, AND THE SEA IN THE BACKGROUND.
LANDSCAPE, WITH CAVALIERS, LADIES, AND DWARFS, A
SlERA IN THE BACKGROUND.
These two pictures were brought into England from
Madrid by Mr Bourke, the Danish Minister.
J. PIERPOINT MORGAN, ESQ.
AN INFANTA. 4 ft. 9 in. x 3 ft 4 in.
Black dress with scarlet bow, wide lace collar, pearl
necklace, crimson cap. R+A* 1896.
BRITISH ISLES 139
J. H, MACFADDEN, ESQ.
Dotf A MARIANA OF AUSTRIA, SECOND WIFE OF PHILIP IV.
(1634-1696). 2 ft 2 in. x i ft. 9 in.
In a white and black dress ; gold chain over her shoulder ;
hair adorned with red bows and red and white feather.
From the Lyne-Stephens Collection. New Gall, 1895.
MISS CLARA MONTALBA.
A FLUTE-PLAYER. 2 ft. 3 in. x i ft. 8 in.
A man in a white dress, and black cloak thrown over his
shoulder, playing on a flute. New Gall. 1895.
R. A. MORRITT, ESQ., ROKEBY PARK.
* VENUS AND CUPID. 4 ft. x 5 ft 9 in.
Full-length nude figure of Venus lying on a couch, her
back to the spectator, and her head raised to look at herself
in a mirror held up by a Cupid kneeling on one knee in front
of a red curtain. RJ1. 1890.
THE EARL OF NORTHBROOK, G.C.I.E., STRATTON,
PHILIP IV. ON HORSEBACK, i ft. u in. x i ft. 5 in.
On bay horse with four white legs, galloping to the right
He wears armour of steel inlaid with gold, a white golilla ? a
plumed hat with pointed brim, and a crimson scarf, which
floats behind, and he carries a baton.
From the Rogers Collection^ in the catalogue of which it is
said that this is the finished sketch of the great picture under
which it used to hang in the palace ofJBuen Retiro.
THE DUKE OF NORTHUMBERLAND, ALNWICK
THE HON. MRS PRESTON.
A LADY. 4 ft 2 in. x 3 ft. 2 in.
Black dress, large black collar trimmed with yellow pearl
necklace, and ear-rings. New Gall. 1895.
SIR CUTHBERT QUILTER.
DoftA MARIANA OF AUSTRIA, SECOND WIFE OF PHILIP
IV. (1634-1696). 4 ft 10 in. x 3 ft n in.
i 4 o CATALOGUE OF WORKS
Similar to Sir Clare Ford's portrait, except that the hair
Is arranged in ringlets, with red bows, and she wears a
gold chain over her shoulders.
From the Clifdm Collection. New GalL 1895.
THE EARL OF RADNOR, LONGFORD CASTLE.
JUAN DE PAREJA. [No. 88.]
Painted in Rome in 1650.
(See replica in the possession of Lord Carlisle!)
SIR J. CHARLES ROBINSON, HARLEY STREET, W.
DON FRANCISCO DE RIBAS, CORREGIDOR DE MADRID, AND
KNIGHT OF SANTIAGO. OvaJ, 3 ft 2 in. x 2 ft. 7 in.
Half-length life-size, full face ; black dress. He holds a
letter in his right hand ; the jewel of the Order of Santiago
is pendent from a ribbon on his dress, and a large
embroidered red cross of the same order is on his sleeve.
The face only is by Velasquez, as the picture is said to
have been left unfinished at the death of the painter.
JAEL AND SISERA. 3 ft n in. x 4 ft 3 in.
Believed to have been painted in 1623, The armour in
which Sisera is clad was painted from the actual suit made
in the antique style for the Emperor Charles V., and still
^reserved at Madrid. The figure in full armour on the
right is a posthumous portrait of the great Duke of Alva ;
that on the left of the Count-Duke d'Olivarez.
The composition is supposed to be intended as an alle-
gorical illustration or reference to the assassination of Wil-
liam the Silent of Holland, the chief enemy of Spain in
the preceding century.
The picture bears a monogrammatic or abbreviated
signature in the right hand lower corner.
GEORGE SALTING, ESQ., BERKELEY SQUARE.
CHILD AND SERVING-MAN. 3ft.sin.xift.uin.
Young grl about three years old seated before a table,
on which is a silver plate containing grapes. She holds
some of the fruit in her right hand, whilst her left, sketched
hi only, is grasped by a man who bends over her; the
head only of the latter figure is completely finished, draperies
and accessories only sketched in.
From the Earl of Claris Collection.
M. L&ON SOMZ^E.
THE VEGETABLE SELLER. New GalL 1895.
BRITISH ISLES 141
THE DUKE OF SUTHERLAND, STAFFORD HOUSE,
THE DUKE OF GANDIA (?) AT A CONVENT DOOR.
From the Soult Collection.
ST. CHARLES BORROMEO AT A CHAPTER.
A knight kneeling before a priest, with three knights and
A ROCKY LANDSCAPE, WITH A MAN ON A WHITE HORSE,
AND A WOMAN AND TWO BEGGARS LYING DOWN.
ST. FRANCIS BORGIA ARRIVING AT THE JESUITS' COLLEGE.
THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON.
INNOCENT X. (1645-1655). 2 ft. 7 in. x 2 ft. 3 in.
Half-length life-size, turned slightly to the right, and
looking at the spectator; red cap and cape, and white
See similar picture in the Hermitage Gallery.
DON FRANCISCO DE QUEVEDO Y VILLEGAS (1580-1645).
2 ft x i ft 10 in.
Life-size bust, looking at the spectator ; black costume,
white golilla ; abundant greyish frizzled hair, and large
double eyeglass on his nose.
Poet and novelist secretary to Queen Anne, wife of
This is doubtless the portrait named by Palomino, iii. 333,
in which the poet is described as with glasses, which he was
accustomed to wear.
Two BOYS. 2 ft. i in. x 3 ft 4 in.
Life-sized Two boys seated at a table laden with dishes,
and a jar surmounted by an orange. One boy, in a buff
jacket, is drinking, and the other looking at him*
A MAN. 2 ft 5 in. x 2 ft i in.
Half-length life-sized figure, in black dress and white
THE WATER CARRIER, "EL AQUADOR DE SEVILLE."
3 ft 4 in. x 2 ft 6 in.
A man, in tattered brown doublet, with his left hand on a
large earthen jar, hands a glass of water to a boy, who stands
beside a table, on which is a smaller jar ; another boy
drinks from a pot
142 CATALOGUE OF WORKS
This picture was painted about 1620, at Seville, ere
Velasquez went to Madrid. In 1780 it was in the Alcazar
Quarto del Rey,
King Joseph Bonaparte took it with him in his flight
from Madrid ; but it was captured in his carriage at the
rout of Vittoria, and afterwards presented by Ferdinand VII.
to the Duke of Wellington.
THE DUKE OF WESTMINSTER, K.G., GROSVENOR
HOUSE, PARK LANE, W.
THE INFANTE DON BALTAZAR CARLOS, ELDEST SON OP
PHILIP IV. (1629-1686). 4 ft 9 in. x 3 ft. 3 in.
The Prince, as a boy, wearing a costume enriched with
silver and gold, a crimson scarf, and a plumed black hat,
is mounted on a prancing pony in a court of the Palace,
and attended by several officers. The King, and Queen
Isabel, are to be seen at a balcony of the building, which
serves as a background
Palosnino iii. 332, refers to this picture as being in the
possession of the Marquis de Liche, nephew of d'Olivarez.
It was probably painted about 1641.
A YOUNG MAN. Panel, i ft 10 in. x i ft. 5 in.
Bust to right, life-size, looking front over his shoulder,
wearing fur cape, cap adorned with crimson ribbons, and
This has been incorrectly called a portrait of Velasquez
(see Curtis, 208).
THE EARL STANHOPE.
THE EARL OF CLARENDON.
PHILIP IV. HUNTING THE WlLD BOAR.
THE ALAMEDA, SEVILLE.
THE EARL OF LECONFIELD, PETWORTH PARK.
THE EARL OF SOUTHESK, KINNAIRD CASTLE.
GROUP OF PEASANTS.
LORD KINNAIRD, ROSSIE PRIORY.
PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN.
BRITISH ISLES IRELAND 143
THE EARL OF WEMYSS.
MALE PORTRAIT. SPANISH LADY. FISH AND FRUITS.
THE EARL OF DUDLEY.
STA. CLARA. A MAN'S PORTRAIT.
PORTRAIT OF PHILIP IV. A BOAR HUNT. A DWARF
WITH DOG AND PARROT. A LANDSCAPE.
THE MARQUIS OF BUTE.
FULL-LENGTH PORTRAIT OF INNOCENT X.
A DRAWING OF HORSES.
See Portfolio monograph^ Part //, p. 101.
NATIONAL GALLERY OF IRELAND, DUBLIN.
LEGEND OF ST. ANTHONY, i ft 8 in. x i ft 4 in.
The saint is represented taking small dead fishes from a
dish, held by a young man at his side, and placing them in
a fountain of water, which brings them to life again. The
youth on his left looks on in an attitude of astonishment
An early picture.
Purchased at Leeds in 1868.
THE INFANTA DO&A MARIA or AUSTRIA, DAUGHTER OF
PHILIP IV. 7 ft x 3 ft 8 in.
This picture is one of which there are many repetitions
in Europe, and may possibly be an old copy. It has
suffered much by cleaning.
THE DUKE OF ABERCORN, K.G., BARONS COURT.
DON BALTAZAR CARLOS, ELDEST SON OF PHILIP IV.
(1629-1646). $ ft 2 in. x 3 ft 6 in.
A lad about seven years old, wearing' black plumed hat,
black dress embroidered with gold, falling lace collar, long
black hose, shoes, and gauntlets, standing in a piazza, holding
with his right hand a gun by its muzzle ; a large dog lies on
the left, and two greyhounds on the right
144 CATALOGUE OF WORKS
THE LOUVRE, PARIS.
* PORTRAIT OF THE INFANTA MARGARITA MARIA, AFTER-
WARDS WIFE OF LEOPOLD I., EMPEROR OF GERMANY
(1651-1673). 2 ft. 4 in. x 2 ft [No. 1731-]
She stands almost in full face, her right hand resting on
a chair, the left one down holding a flower. Robe is of pearl-
coloured taffeta trimmed with black lace, a necklace and
gold chain. The picture is inscribed in large letters,
S L'INFANTE MARGUERITE."
PHILIP IV. OF SPAIN (1605-1669). i ft 4 in. x 4 ft.
The king stands upright, bareheaded, dressed as a
sportsman, and holding a gun in his gloved right hand.
Near a tree to the left is a dog.
From the Napoleon Collection.
PHILIP IV. OF SPAIN (1605-1665). i ft. 4 in. x i ft. 2 in.
Head only. Three-quarter profile, curled-up moustache,
and curly hair.
* A MEETING OF THIRTEEN PERSONS, i ft. 4 in. x 2 ft.
6 in. [No. 1734-]
On a hillock are Spanish gentlemen in groups talking
together ; on the left are Velasquez, Murillo, and a third
From the Collection of the Marquis de Fordin-Janson.
Bought in 1851 ofM. Lauenmlle.
QUEEN MARIANA OF AUSTRIA, SECOND WIFE OF PHILIP IV.
2 ft. 4 in. x 2 ft. [No. 1735.]
The child, about twelve years old, wears white satin
bodice, on which is the badge of an order and a bow
of ribbon. Hair adorned with pink bows, jewels, and a
Bought at M. Viardots sale in 1863.
A YOUNG WOMAN. OvaL 2 ft. 8 in. x 2 ft. x in.
She wears a black-and-white dress, and her puffed hair
falls on a white collar crossed by a double string of pearls.
FRANCE GERMANY 145
DON PEDRO DE ALTAMIRA, THE DEAN OF THE ROYAL
CHAPEL IN TOLEDO, AFTERWARDS A CARDINAL. 3 ft,
x 2 ft 6 in. [No. 1737.]
The picture is inscribed : "& 54, DN. 1633."
THE MUSEUM, ROUEN.
PORTRAIT OF A MAN, ** THE GEOGRAPHER."
ROYAL MUSEUM, BERLIN.
ALESSANDRO DEL BORRO, ITALIAN COMMANDER. 6 ft. 9 in.
X4ft. [No. 4I3A.]
Purchased in Florence in 1873.
MARIA ANNA, SISTER OF PHILIP IV. OF SPAIN. 6 ft. 8 in.
x 3 ft. 6 in. [413-]
Suermondt Collection, 1874.
A SPANISH COURT DWARF. 4 ft. 7 in. X3ft. 3 in. [No.
Bought in Vienna in 1879.
A WOMAN. 4 ft. x 3 ft 3 in. [No. 4I3E.]
Purchased from Lord Dudley's Collection in 1887.
ROYAL PICTURE GALLERY, DRESDEN.
GASPAR DE GUZMAN THE COUNT-DUKE D'OLIVAREZ. 3 ft.
x 2 ft. 5 in. [No. 622.]
In black costume, and wearing the green cross of the
Order of Alcantara.
A MAN m BLACK COSTUME WITH A GOLD CORD. 2 ft 2 in.
x i ft 10 in. [No. 623.]
A MAN IN BLACK COSTUME. 3 ft 5 in. x 2 ft. 10 in.
STADEL GALLERY, FRANKFORT*
THE INFANTA MARGARITA TERESA.
A replica of tfa $orfrait at Vienna, 619.
146 CATALOGUE OF WORKS
OLD PINAKOTHEK, MUNICH.
THE ARTIST. 2 ft, x i ft. 8 in. [No 1292.]
He wears a black vest, with standing collar, and upon
his breast is a medal Much repainted.
From the Dusseldorf Gallery.
A YOUNG SPANIARD, WITHOUT BEARD, IN A BLACK
DRESS. Canvas. 2ftnin. x 2 ft, 3 in, [No. 1293.]
From the Dusseldorf Gallery.
THE INFANTA DoftA MARIA MARGUERITA, DAUGHTER
OF PHILIP IV. OF SPAIN, AS A CHILD. 4 ft. 6 in.
x 5 ft 4 in. [No. 1294.]
In long double dress of white and red damask ; her right
hand rests on the edge of a table, and her left holds a
From the Palace of Dachau. Possibly by del Mazo.
THE INFANTE DON BALTAZAR CARLOS.
MUSEUM, THE HAGUE.
THE INFANTE DON BALTAZAR CARLOS.
A SPANISH LANDSCAPE.
PITTI PALACE, FLORENCE.
A MAN. 3 ft. ii in. x 2 ft. 10 in. [No. 198.]
Half-length figure wrapped in a doak.
PHILIP IV. OF SPAIN (1605-1665). 4 ft 2 in. x 3 ft.
UFFIZI GALLERY, FLORENCE.
THE ARTIST, SAID TO BE BY HIMSELF. [No. 216.]
A SIMILAR PORTRAIT. [No. 217.]
PHILIP IV. OF SPAIN, ON HORSEBACK (1605-1665).
Canvas. Life-size. [No. 210.]
The three allegorical figures hovering above, and the
attendant bearing the helmet, are by another hand.
HOLLAND ITALY RUSSIA 147
PALAZZO CATANAO, GENOA
MADONNA AND CHILD.
BRERA GALLERY, MILAN.
A DEAD BROTHER. Head only, on panel i ft. 8 in.
x i ft. 3 in. [No. 320, Sala X.]
CAPITOL PICTURE GALLERY, ROME.
THE ARTIST, WHEN ABOUT THIRTY. [No. 80.]
See a long note as to this picture in Venturis Catalogue.
PALAZZO DORIA, ROME.
MAGNIFICENT PORTRAIT OF POPE INNOCENT X. Painted
in Italy 1649-51.
PICTURE GALLERY, TURIN.
PHILIP IV. OF SPAIN. Head only, i ft. 4 in. x i ft. i in.
PORTRAIT OF A MAN. Head only. 2 ft. i in. x i ft 6 in.
Acquired in 1865.
PALAZZO DUCALE, MODENA.
PORTRAIT OF THE DUKE OF MODENA.
HERMITAGE GALLERY, ST. PETERSBURG,
PHILIP IV. OF SPAIN (1605-1665). 2 ft 2 in. x i ft. 9 in.
Bust only, turned a little to the tight, and looking at the
spectator. His dark dress has diamond buttons, and he
wears a white collar, over which is a golden chain.
Front the Collection of Prince DenSdqffSan Donate,
OUVARBZ, DUKE OF SAN LTJCAR, 6 ft n in. X4 ft.
2 in. [No. 421.]
Standing near table covered in red ; left hand on his
sword, and right resting on the table. On his cloak is
embroidered the Cross of Alcantara.
Purchased from William 77. of Holland.
148 CATALOGUE OF WORKS
* POPE INNOCENT X. (1574-1655). i ft. 7 in. x i ft. 4 in.
Bust, three-quarters, to the left, wearing a red soutane, and
also a red cape, on which is a white collar.
PHILIP IV. OF SPAIN (1605-1665). 6 ft. 9 in. x 4 ft.
The king is standing near a table, on which is a ted
cover. He is dressed in black velvet, and wears the Order
of the Golden Fleece.
Purchased in i%$ofrom William IL of Holland.
OLIVAREZ, DUKE OF SAN LUCAR. 2 ft 3 in. x i ft 10 in.
Bust only ; dressed in black, with white collar and black
cloak, on which is the Cross of Alcantara.
Similar to ike portraits ctt Dresden, Bowood^ and belonging
to Sir Clare Ford.
YOUNG BOY, LAUGHING. 10 in. x 8 in. [No. 423.]
Justi refuses to accept this picture as the work of
A YOUNG SPANISH PRINCE. 6 ft 9 in. x 4 ft 8 in.
The prince, aged about six, is represented on a bay horse
galloping to the left He wears the Order of the Golden
Fleece, and carries a baton in his hand.
MUSEO DEL PRADO, MADRID; 1
From Mr. E. Kerr-Lawsorts Catalogue of the Gallery.
*THE ADORATION OF THE MAGI. 6ft.7in.X4ft. i in.
Mary, seated at the foot of an ancient construction,
presents the Infant to the adoration of the kings, two
of whom are presenting cups of gold, while the third awaits
his turn. To the left of the Virgin, somewhat in the
background, is St Joseph.
Very early. Painted before Velasquez came to Court,
probably about the same time as the "Water Carrier."
*THE SAVIOUR CRUCIFIED. 8ft.ziax5ft.6in. [No.
* *t4uwrng*d fa June 1899 on the occasion of the yd centenary
RUSSIA SPAIN 149
Presented in 1829 & Ferdinand VIL by the Duke of
St. Ferdinand^ for this Museo.
*THE CORONATION OF THE VIRGIN. 5 ft. 8 in. x 4 ft. 4 in.
Mary ascends on a throne of clouds to the seat of the
Holy Trinity ; the Father and Son, holding the crown be-
tween them, await the immaculate Virgin ; the Holy Spirit
in the form of a dove sheds rays of light which illuminate
the heavens. Figures less than life-size.
This picture was executed for the oratorio of the Queen in
the Royal Alcazar and Palace of Madrid*
*ST. ANTHONY VISITING ST. PAUL, 8 ft. 5 in. x 9 ft. 4 in.
Painted in 1659 f* the Hermitage of St Anthony of
the Buen Retire.
*THE TOPERS ; commonly called " Los Borrachosu" 5 ft.
4 in. x 7 ft. 4 in. [No. 1058.]
The half-naked drunkard, who represents the god of the
vintage, seated on a cask, is crowning another drunkard
with ivy. Other intoxicated figures variously disposed.
Purchased by Philip IV., before Velasquez made his first
journey to Italy.
*THE FORGE OF VULCAN. 7 ft. 3 in. xp ft. 5 in.
The god Apollo appears in the forge of Vulcan, who,
with the help of four Cyclops, is fashioning a coat of mail,
and tells him of the adultery of his spouse Venus with
Mars. Painted in Italy.
Acquired for Philip IV. in 1634.
*THE SURRENDER OF BREDA; commonly called "Las
Lanzas." 10 ft. x n ft. u in. [No. 1060.]
General Justino de Nassau, in humble attitude, presents
the key to the victorious general, who with his hand on
the shoulder of the conquered soldier, addresses him in
flattering terms for his bravery.
It is believed that Velasquez painted this work about the
*LAS HILANDERAS (THE SPINNERS) : Tapestry Manufactory
of St Isabel of Madrid. 7 ft 3 in. x 9 ft, 4 w- [No.
ISO CATALOGUE OF WORKS
An old woman spins at a wheel while she turns to speak
to a young woman at her side, standing by a red curtain.
Other figures in the background carding the wool, etc.
Decorated the Palace of the Bum Retire.
*LAS MBNINAS; formerly called "The Family." 10 ft
4in.x8ft.ii in, [No. 1062.]
Velasquez is executing the portraits of Philip IV. and
his second wife Mariana of Austria, who are seen reflected
in a mirror situated at the back of the studio. The child
Infanta Margarita Maria is attended by her Meninas, Maria
Agustina Sarmiento and Isabel de Velasco, the latter
supplying her with a vessel of water, and the former stand-
ing; on the left of Maria. The dwarfs, Man Bdrbola and
Nicolasito Pertusato, occupy the corner on the right, the
latter with his foot resting on a large dog.
Collection of Philip IV., Royal Palace of Madrid.
* MERCURY AND ARGUS. 4 ft. i in. x 8 ft. i in. [No. 1063.]
Mercury having caused Argus, the guardian of the cow
lo, to fall asleep, cuts off the head of the animal
Collection ofPhiUp IV., Royal Alcazar of Madrid.
KING PHILIP III. ON HORSEBACK. 9 ft. 9 in, x 10 ft a in,
Some parts of the person of this portrait seem hardly
to be the work of Velasquez, but rather that of Pantajo,
or of BartolomS Gonzalez.
QUEEN MARGARITA OF AUSTRIA, WIFE OF PHILIP III.
9 ft. 8 in. x 10 ft. [No. 1065.]
The queen is mounted on a beautiful chestnut and white
horse. She is dressed in a black costume, with open
sleeves bordered with silver. Of this picture Velasquez
painted scarcely more than the horse, the background,
and some accessories.
Collection of Philip IV., Palace of the Buen Retiro.
* KING PHILIP IV, ON HORSEBACK. 9 ft. 9 in. x 10 ft. 2 in.
The king is seen almost in profile; clothed in half-
armour of burnished steel, ornamented with gold. He
holds the sceptre in his right hand. The horse is slightly
Collection of Philip IV., Palace of the Buen Retiro.
ISABEL OF BOURBON, SECOND WIFE OF PHILIP IV 9 ft.
9 in. x 10 ft. 2 in. [No. 1067.]
Mounted on a white palfrey.
Collection of Philip IV., Palace of the Buen Retiro.
* PRINCE DON BALTAZAR CARLOS. 6 ft. a in. x 5 ft. 7 in.
Represents a child of six or seven years, mounted on
a spirited Andalusian pony, which is on the gallop.
A small dull copy still exists in the Dulwich Gallery.
Collection of Philip IV.> Palace of the Buen Retiro.
* THE COUNT-DUKE D'OLIVAREZ. 10 ft 2 in. x 7 ft. 9 in.
With a plate-breast of burnished steel and gold orna-
mentation, mounted on a spirited sorrel horse; holding
in his right hand the general's baton.
This canvas passed from the House of Guzman to that
of the Marques de la Ensenada^ from whom it was acquired
by King Charles ///., and in whose collection in the New
Palace it figured in 1772.
* EL INFANTE DON CARLOS. 6 ft 6 in. x 3 ft. 3 in. [No.
A young man, standing.
Collection of Philip IV., Palace of the Buen Retiro,
* PHILIP IV. i ft. 10 in. x i ft. 5 in. [No. 1071,]
Representing a young man of eighteen or nineteen years,
in steel armour adorned with gold. Extended bust;
Earliest known portrait of the king. Justi thinks the
armour and red scarf added at a later date by Velasquez.
MARIA, QUEEN OF HUNGARY, SISTER OF PHILIP
IV. (?). i ft 10 in. x i ft. 5 in. [No. 1072.]
Represented about twenty-five years of age.
She married Ferdinand of Hungary, and was painted, after
her marriage, by Velasquez, at Naples. She had been
betrothed in 1623 to Charles Prince of Wales.
DON CARLOS, SECOND SON OF KING PHILIP III. 6 ft.
9 in. x 4 ft. i in. [No. 1073.]
* KING PHILIP IV. 6 ft 2 in. x 4 ft i in. [No. 1074.]
As sportsman, with a gun in his right hand. At his
side is a hound.
152 CATALOGUE OF WORKS
One of three portraits, alike in size, and shape of the king,
his brother Ferdinand, and his son Balthazar, dressed in
Collection of Charles //., Royal Alcazar and Palace of
INFANTE DON FERNANDO OF AUSTRIA, BROTHER OF
PHILIP IV. 6 ft 2 in. x 6 ft 4 in. [No. 1075.]
Standing in a field, in hunting costume with a gun
in his hands. At his side a beautiful cinnamon-coloured
Collection of Charles II. in 1686.
DON BALTAZAR CARLOS, AT Six YEARS OF AGE. 6 ft 2 in.
x 3 ft. 4 in. [No. 1076.]
Standing, in hunting costume, and holding his gun, which
rests on the ground. At one side a large setter, and
on the other a greyhound.
KING PHILIP IV., OF ABOUT FIFTY YEARS OF AGE.
7ft6in. X4ft3in. [No. 1077.]
Standing, in half-armour, with the sceptre hi his hand,
and a stout lion at his feet.
Came from the Escorial to this Museum in 1845.
* DONA MARIANA OF AUSTRIA, SECOND WIFE OF PHILIP IV.
6 ft 9 in. x 4 ft i in. [No. 1078.]
Her right hand rests on the back of an easy-chair, while
the left falls naturally. She is dressed in black silk.
Collection of Charles //., Palace of the Retiro (?). Came
from the Escorial in 1845.
MARIANA OF AVSTRIA. 7ft6wj.X4ft.3in.
Repetition of No. 1078, with variation hi the disposition
of the curtain.
KING PHILIP IV., AT AN ADVANCED AGE. Life-sized bust
2 ft 3 in. x i ft 10 in. [No. 1080.]
PHILIP IV., IN PRAYER. 6 ft 9 in. x 4 ft 9 in. [No. 1081.]
Kneeling, with his hat in his left hand ; dressed in black.
From the Royal Monastery of the Escorial.
DO&A. MARIANA OF AUSTRIA, SECOND WIFE OF PHILIP IV*
IN PRAYER. 6 ft. 9 in. x 4 ft 9 in. [No. 1082.]
Kneeling, with her two hands on the cushion, and in
them a prayer-book.
Companion to and from the same source as the preceding
DON BALTAZAR CARLOS, SON or PHILIP IV. 6 ft 9 in.
x 4 ft 8 in. [No. 1083.]
A youth, of some fourteen years, standing.
Collection of Charles //., Palace of the Buen Retiro.
* MARIA TERESA OF AUSTRIA, DAUGHTER OF PHILIP IV.,
AFTERWARDS QUEEN OF FRANCE. 6 ft IO in. X 4 ft 9 in.
Apparently of about ten years of age. Standing, with
a rose in her left hand, and a fine cambric handkerchief
hi her right Full-length; life-size.
Saved from the fire of the old Alcazar in 1734,
DON LUIS DE GONGORO OF ARGOTE, CORDOVAN POET.
Life-sized bust i ft. n in. x i ft 6 in. [No. 1085.]
*DONA JUANA PACHECO, WIFE OF VELASQUEZ. 2 ft.
x i ft. 7 in. [No. 1086.]
Life-sized bust, with part of the left hand.
Sometimes called "The Sybil"
Collection of Isabel Farnese^ Palace of San Ildefonso.
* DAUGHTER OF VELASQUEZ, INFANT GIRL. Half-figure;
life-size- i ft. 10 in. x i ft. 6 in. [No. 1087.]
There is no certainty that this represents either Francisca
or Ignatia, the two daughters of Velasquez. There is
another canvas, however, in the Prado, very like this one,
and the two may be portraits of the two sisters.
INFANT GIRL, i ft u in. x i ft 6 in. [No. 1088.]
Apparently a sister of the child represented in the pre-
ceding canvas. Half-figure ; life-size.
ELDERLY LADY. 3 ft. 5 in. x 3 ft 6 in. [No. 1089.]
Half-figure ; life-size. The authenticity of this work
is very doubtful.
Sawed from the fire of the old Castle in 1734-
DON ANTONIO ALONSO PIMENTBL, NINTH EARL (CONDE)
OF BENAVENTE, LORD OF THE BEDCHAMBER OF PHILIP
IV. 3 ft 6 in. x a ft 10 in, [No. 1090.]
Collection of Isabel Fames*, Palace of San Ildefonso.
154 CATALOGUE OF WORKS
*THE SCULPTOR MARTINEZ MONTANA. 3 ft. 6 in. x 2 ft.
10 in. [No. 1091.]
Erroneously supposed to be Alonso Caao ; represented
modelling a bust of Philip IV. Half-length ; unfinished.
*PABULLOS DE VALLADOLID, A BUFFOON OF PHILIP IV.
6 ft. 9 in. x 4 ft. [No. 1092.]
Life-sized figure. His name is mentioned in company
with those of Cristobel de Pernia, and other Jesters or
Collection of Philip IV.> Palace of the Buen Retiro.
* CRISTOBAL DE PERNIA, CALLED BABARROJA. 6 ft. 5 in.
x 3 ft. ii in. [No. 1093.]
Full-length figure ; unfinished. Pernia in the character
and costume of a Moorish Corsair.
Collection of Charles //., Palace of the Buen Retiro.
A JUGGLER OF PHILIP IV., NAMED DON JUAN DE AUSTRIA.
6 ft. 10 in. x 4 ft. [No. 1094.]
A life-sized figure, standing. In the background is seen
the sea, with a blazing ship.
Collection of Philip IV. and Charles //., Palace of the
*THE DWARF EL PRIMO. 3 ft. 6 in. x 2 ft 8 in. [No,
Seated on a stone in the middle of a desert and
mountainous field, with a large slouch hat on his head.
The head and books, according to Justi, belong to an
earlier period than the background, which was painted
probably over an interior.
Collection of Philip IK, Royal Castle and Palace of
THE DWARF DON SEBASTIAN DE MORRA (?). 3 ft 5 in.
x 2 ft. 8 in. [No. 1096.]
Seated on the floor. Figure life-size.
From the same source as No. 1095.
*THB DWARF ANTONIO THE ENGLISHMAN (?). 4 ft, 7 in.
x 3 ft. 5 in. [No. 1097.]
At his side a mastiff bitch, and in his right hand, which
falls naturally, he holds his slouch hat adorned with plumes.
Full-length figure, and of life-size.
Collection of Charles //., Torre de la Parada (?).
*EL Nifto DE VALLE^AS. 3 ft 6 in. x 2 ft. 8 in. [No.
In a field, bareheaded, and with a pack of cards in his
Collection of Charles //., Torre de la Parada (?).
EL BOBO DE CORIA. 3 ft 4 in. x 2 ft 8 in. [No. 1099.]
Seated on a stone, with a gourd at either side, and his
hands upon his right knee. Entire figure ; life-size.
This picture decorated the Torre de la Parada till the
time of Charles III. The subject of the picture was no
doubt one of the many Court fools or homhres de placer of
Philip IV. J
*-<EsoP. 4 ft. 10 in. x 3 "ft. [No. noo.]
Standing in the middle of a dismantled room. Entire
Collection ofPMlip IV., Torre de la Parada.
*MOENIPPUS. 5 ft. 10 in. x 3 ft. [No. noi.]
Standing in a disgarnished room, with books and a
parchment at his feet Enveloped in a black cloak. Entire
Collection of Charles //., Torre de la Parada.
*THB GOB MARS. 5 ft 10 in. x 3 ft i in. [No. 1102.]
Seated on the edge of a bed, with his left foot on a
pine footstool, his left elbow resting on his knee, and
his cheek upon his hand; nude, with the exception of
a blue drapery across the body, and a rose-coloured cloak
thrown over shoulders.
One of the few nudes of Velasquez ; it hung in the Torre
de la Parada. It seems little later than the "Vulcan,"
perhaps just before the "Christ at the Pillar."
Collection of Philip IV., Royal Castle, and Palace of
Madrid^ or Torre de la Parada.
A MAN. Life-sized bust i ft. 3 in. x i ft. 2 in. [No.
Collection of Philip V.> Palace of San Ildefonso.
A MAN. Life-sized bust i ft. 10 in. x i ft. 3 in. [No,
ALONSO MARTINEZ DE ESPINAR, VALET-BE-CHAMBRE OF
PRINCE BALTAZAR CARLOS, a ft. 5 in. x i ft. 5 in.
IS6 CATALOGUE OF WORKS
Dressed in black. Life-sized bust
Colkction of Isabel Farnese, Palace of San Udefonso.
*VIEW IN THE GARDEN OF THE VILLA MEDICI AT ROME
i ft. 5 in. x i ft. 3 in. [No. 1106.]
Taken during the two months which Velasquez spent at
the Villa Medici on his first visit to Italy.
Colkction of Philip IV., Royal Alcazar and Palace of
* VIEW IN THE GARDEN OF ARANJUEZ. x ft 5 in. x i ft.
3 in. [No. 1107.]
Companion to and from the same source as No. 1 106.
VIEW OF THE ARCH OF TITUS IN THE COMPO VACCINO OF
ROME. 4 ft. 10 in. x 3 ft. 7 in. [No. 1108.]
Taken in the Via Sacra.
Painted probably in Madrid from some note made in
Rome while Velasquez was on Ms first visit to Italy.
VIEW OF THE FOUNTAIN OF THE TRITONS IN THE GARDEN
OF THE ISLAND OF ARANJUEZ. 8 ft. i in. x 7 ft. 3 in.
// is believed that Velasquez painted this picture, or at
least made the studies for it, in the year 1642, during
Philip IV.'s journey to Saragossa.
VIEW OF THE CALLS DE LA REINA, IN ARANJUEZ. 7 ft.
ii in. x 6 ft. 7 in. [No. mo.]
Probably executed about the same time as No. 1109, that
is, in 1642.
VIEW OF THE BUEN RETIRO, AS IT APPEARED IN THE TlME
OF PHILIP IV. 4 ft. 9 in. x 3 ft. 8 in. [No. mi.]
VIEW OF A ROYAL RESIDENCE. 4ft. 10 in. x 3 ft. 7 in.
[No. 1 1 12.]
Possibly the old Alcazar and Palace of Madrid, from the
garden of the emperors or of the prioress.
STUDY OF LANDSCAPE AND PERSPECTIVE. 4 ft. 10 in. x 3 ft.
7 in. [No. 1113,]
In the heavens the god Mercury is clearing the air with
the caduceus in his hand ; in the lower part of the picture,
STUDY OF LANDSCAPE AND PERSPECTIVE. 4 ft. 10 in.
X3 ft. 7 in. [No. 1114.]
Sewed from the fire of the old Alcazar of Madrid in 1734.
STUDY OF THE HEAD OF AN OLD MAN. i ft. 3 in. x i ft.
Life-size. Authenticity doubtful.
Collection of Philip V.^ Palace of San ttdefonso.
PORTRAIT OF PRINCE BALTHAZAR CARLOS, aged six, stand-
ing bareheaded in a room opening on to a balcony with
ROYAL PALACE, MADRID.
THE AQUADOR OF SEVILLE.
Attributed to Velasquez.
Replica of the Duke of Wellington's picture.
Three other pictures in this gallery are :
1. THE HEAD OF A WOMAN.
2. A HAND HOLDING A PAPER (part of a lost picture).
3. A SMALL PORTRAIT OF OLIVAREZ.
THE ESCORIAL, MADRID.
JOSEPH'S BRETHREN SHOWING HIS BLOOD-STAINED COAT,
Pointed at Rome in 1630.
SENOR LEANDRO ALVEAR.
SENOR AURELIANO DE BERUETR.
THE DUKE OF MEDINA CELLI, MADRID.
158 CATALOGUE OF WORKS
THE DUKE OF VILLA HERMOSA.
PORTRAIT OF DON DIEGO DEL CORRAL Y ARELLANO.
THE DUKE OF ALBA, LIRIA PALACE, MADRID.
DoftA ANTONIA, DAUGHTER OF DON Luis DE HARO.
THE INFANTA MARGARITA TERESA.
ARCHBISHOP'S PALACE, SEVILLE.
THE VIRGIN PRESENTING THE CHASUBLE TO ST. ILDEFONSE.
DONA MARIA DEL VALLE GOURALEZ (veuve de
CHRIST AND THE DISCIPLES AT EMMAUS.
THE MUSEUM, VALENCIA.
THE PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST.
See engraving by Fortuity*
THE PALACE, GRYPSHOLM.
PHILIP IV. AS A YOUTH.
A gift from Pimental, the Spanish Ambassador, to
Admiral Pulido, 20, 25
Adoration of the Magi, 19, 53
MsQp, 20, 21, 23, 48, 53, 86, 91
Anne of Austria, 12, 13
Antonio el Xnglese, 91
Avenue of the Queen, 60, 93
Balthazar-Carlos, the King's son,
15 ; dies, 16 ; portrait, 20, 21
Boar-Hunt, The, 20
.5*tf of Philip in Armour, 19
Cano, Alenzo, 16 ; portrait, 17
Carducho, Court-painter, n, 113
Caxesi, Eugenio, n ; compared
with Velasquez, 27
Chevreuse, Madame de, portrait
painted by Velasquez, 16 "
Christ at the Pillar, 20, 71
Collier, John, on the technique of
Coronation of the Virgin, 57
Corot, similarity of Velasquez
to Whistler and, 60, in
Crucifixion, The, 2O, So
Don-Carlos, see Balthasar-C&rlos
Duran, as a teacher of art, 104,
105, 107, 108 ; on art, 106 ; on
artists, 109; on colouring, no
Impressionistic Painting, 120-125
Innocent X., portrait, 17, 20
Isabella de Bourbon, 12
Italy, Velasquez visits, 14, 17
Joseph's Coat, 14
Justi, Carlo, on Velasquez, 9, 61 ;
&&.#& Fountain of the Tritons,
King as a Sportsman, 20
Landscapes of Velasquez, 6 1
Lavery, John, on Velasquez, 95, 96
Leonardo, on modelling, 76; on
the technique of art, 106
Maria Teresa, Birth of, 15
Maria Teresa, 20, 23, 53, 54, 71,
Mary of Hungary, portrait painted
by Velasquez, 14
Mary Tudor, portrait by Antonio
More, 99, loo
Mazo, J. B. del, 91
Meninas, Las, 20, 21, 23, 24, 28,
, 32, 45, 50-53, 57-59, 71, 78,
on of the
the Moriscoes by
Forge of Vulcan, 14, *9, 49, 53, 7*
Fountain of the Tritons, 61 ; Carlo
Justi on, 61
Gonzales, Court-painter, ix
Greco, influenced Velasquez, 98
Henner, the painter, in
Herrera, Francisco de, taught Velas-
andcraSj Las, 20, 21, 23, 53,
57-59, 7i 72, 88, 89, 92
Modelling of Velasquez's pictures,
compared, 74, 75; Leonardo
Modena, Duke of, portrait painted
by Velasquez, 16
Moenippus, 20, 21, 23, 48, 53, 70,
71, 86, 91, 93
Michael Angelo and his Art, 113,
Montafiz, Martinez, x6; portrait,
20, 2X, 25, 85, 9
Murillo, pupil of Velasquez, 16
Nardi, Court-painter, xx
Old Masters, Velasquez compared
with, 97, 98
Olivarez, Count, ir, 12, ; disgraced,
15, 16 ; portrait, 20, 21, 54, 92
Pablillos de Valladolid, 20
Pacheco, Francisco, taught Velas-
quez, 10, II ; his daughter
marries Velasquez, n
Painting, styles of, 42-45
Pelouse, Leon, 115, 116
Perspective, objects seen in, 116,
Philip III., dies, II
Philip IV., 7 ; Velasquez and, 7,
13 ; his brothers, 12 ; portraits
painted by Velasquez, 16, 19,
20, 21, 46, 54, 80, 81, 84, 85,
Prince Ferdinand, 20
' Queen Mariana, 20
Quevedo, portrait by Velasquez, 17
Raphael, not admired by Velai-
Realistic Painting, on, 121, 122
Repulse of the English at
Caxesi's picture, 15, 27
Ribera, Velasquez and, 14, 17
Riding School, The, 20
Rubens, at the Court of Spain, 13 ;
and Velasquez, 13, 14; com-
pared with Velasquez, 27, 51
Seville, Velasquez born at, 10
Shepherds, The, 19
Silva, Diego Rodriguez de, grand-
father of Velasquefc, 10
Silva, Juan de, father of Velasquez,
Spain, scenery in, 4, 5
Surrender of Breda, 15, 19-21, 23-
27, 29, 54
Technique in Art, 34, 35
Titian, his Assumption, 52, 53;
Velasquez's admiration of, 98,
99 ; his Francois Premier, 100
Topers, The, 19, 29, 31, 48, 53 ;
*and Las Meninas compared, 79
Velasquez, not appreciated, 235
Philip IV. and, 7, 13 ; as a
painter, 7, 8 ; Carl Justi's work
on, 9; born at Seville, 10;
date of birth, 10; his grand-
father, 10; his father, 10; his
first master, 10; pupil of Fran-
cisco Pacheco, 10 ; marries, II ;
appointed Court-painter, 11 j
and Rubens, 13, 14; visits
Italy, 14, 17 ; taught Murillo,
16; his friends, 16; Court
honours for, 17 ; his death, 18 ;
his pictures, 19, 20 ; his style,
21, 32 ; compared with Caxesi,
27; compared with Rubens;
27, 51 ; method of painting,
42-46 ; his style and Whistler's,
48 ; his impressionistic com-
positions, 53 ; his realistic '
' compositions, 53 ; his similarity
to Corot and Whistler, 60 ; his
landscapes, 61 ; modelling of
his pictures compared, 74, 75 ;
an impressionist, 78, 79, in,
125 ; his ensemble, 8 1 ; his art,
82, 83 ; his portraits of Philip
IV., 84, 85 ; John Lavery on,
95, 96 ; and old masters com-
pared, 97, 98; influenced by
Greco, 98 ; admiration of Ti-
tian, 98, 99 ; does not admire
Raphael, 98 ; writers on, 103 ;
Sir David Wilkie on, 103 ; and
modern artists, 103, 104, in;
a realistic painter, 107
Venus, 21, 53, 71
Water Carrier, The, 19
Whistler, similarity between Velas-
quez and, 48, 60 ; his pictures,
Wilkie, Sir David, on Velasquez,
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