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The work of I choose to review is the most renowned artistic splendour in canvas, titled, Las Meninas, painted by the

Spanish painter Diego Vale !ue " Diego Vale !ue , it can not be wrong to say, brought about a revolution in the field of art during the early part of the #$th century" %e had the utmost influence on the entire world of &uropean painters than anyone else" Deigo's popularity lies in his absolute mastery over techni!ue" %e is also eulogi ed highly for his independent style" Diego (odrigue de Silva Velas!ue , as he is originally known, was born in Seville, Spain" The e)act date of his birth is unknown" *ut based on his baptism record, it is predicted that he must have been born a few months before +une ,, #-.." %e was born of the noble lineage" %ence, the thirst for art was inherent in him" In his teens, he studied art with /rancisco 0acheco" /ranciso 0acheco was yet another alluring name in the world of Spanish painters" %e was commonly known as the teacher of Diego" Diego married his daughter later at the age of #. and went to Madrid" Diego was an embodiment of un!uenchable eal for art" %e was determined to earn for himself a distinct place in the field of arts" %is thirst for art made him remark 1I would rather be the first painter of common things than second in higher art2" %e learned a lot from his study of nature" %e painted the portrait of 0hilip IV when he was 34" 0hilip IV eventually became his patron" The painting pictures a common scene at the royal art gallery" The royal painter is busy at work" %e is surrounded by the people of royal household" The sunlight from the window brightens their faces" &)cept for this light, the rest of the room looks dark" The people are gathered before a canvas board of living si e" 5ll their eyes are fi)ed on the board" They study with great commitment the content of the portrait" &ven the posture of the royal painter e)presses the same sincerity" %e scrutini es his work at a distance" It is indeed fascinating that even the dog seems to view the portrait with great respect" The appearance of the room bears enough evidence to name it the royal gallery" The walls of the room are adorned by a great deal of paintings" 6e)t, it is worth focusing on their clothing" &veryone in the room look dignified with apparels that fit the life of royalty" The child at the centre seems to be the heir of nobility" She is 7Infanta', the daughter of the royal couple, 0hiip IV and his wife" %ence, the meninas appear to be very insightful of her needs and wishes" &ven the meninas are royally dressed" /urther, we see the courtiers standing at the back, admiring the

painting" The dress of the courtiers stands at par with their status and dignity" The dwarf and the royal painter are seen with apparels that fit their position in the royal palace" Thus, costume of everyone represents prosperity and represents their specific personality" 6e)t, let us focus on the appearance of the room" The room appears well8 furnished" 5rt has been given prior importance in the palaces of kings" The room in the painting is aptly furnished and looks gracious" The designs on the ceilings make evident that the room was built with an aesthetic touch" It appears to be a blend of modern and classical styles of architecture" The floor is carpeted with soft rugs and it adds to the elegance of the room" *eautiful paintings adorn the wall" They are of various si es and are seen hanging on all sides" The room is well e!uipped to give the royal painter enough freedom to carry out his masterpieces undisturbed" The painting has a fine blend of the ma9or artistic elements and principles" The elements of arts, line, color, shape, texture, space, time /motion, are distinctly used to give the painting its uni!ueness" 5 close observation of the picture make one understand that Diego is a painter, who give e!ual importance to every minute details" The lines play a prominent role in adding originality to the picture" *e it the subtle lines in the gown of Infanta :in the form of fleets; or the evident ones in the gown of dwarf and Meninas, the artistic element 7line' adds to the grandeur of the picture" /urther, the entire painting is an amalgamation of lines in various forms" The pillars, the outer frames of picture that hang on the walls, the painting board that the artistic is seen working on, the bo) designs on the main door, etc, bear witness to the e)tensive use of lines to make the picture appear more realistic" The line at the far end of the room, representing the sunlight that enters the room through the door is the enith of the painter's masterly application of the element of line in his painting" The artist's sense of color it the most admirable one" <nlike a few other paintings that would slap the viewers with ghastly blend of odd colours, the painting seems to use colour in the most sensible and pleasant way" They are mild and pleasing to the eyes" The best e)ample is the colour on the body of the dog" It is more perfectly used to make the dog look more live" This is a clear e)ample of the painter's mastery over his art" %is concentration of minute details can be well amplified by the different colous that he has applied to differentiate socks, shoe lace of the little child and her red gown" Thus, the apt application of pleasant blend of colours makes this picture an aesthetic visual treat" Let us move further to analyse the application of the artistic element 7shape'"

The sudden loot at the painting one would be fooled to think of it as an enactment scene of a drama" /or the painting stands real before our eyes" The e)actness of the images of individuals testifies the e)traordinary mastery of the painter over the application of the artistic element 7shape'" 5 closer look at the dog, seen in the painting, would speak volumes about the invincible presence of 7shape' in the painting" The figures appear as real as they would appear before one's eyes" %aving said so much about the realistic appearance of the picture, it goes without saying that the painter has an accurate sense of te)turing" Diego, who brought about a revolution in the field of painting, has employed the impasto techni!ue to make the painting look far more real" =ne can see no where in the painting, the brush mark" /urther, the te)ture is so practical that it is devoid of artificiality" The hair color of the children, the te)ture of the supporting stand, the carpet and the mane of the dog would 9ustify this stand" >et another element that re!uires a mention here is the painter's use of space" The ceiling of the room, as painted in the canvas, stands as a testimony of the marvellous application of the element of space in the painting" The reflection of the canvas on the mirror at the other side of the wall, the person standing in the entrance, viewing the progress of the painting from far, etc, bring before our eyes and mind the physical appearance of the entire room" /inally, let us look into the use of the element of 7motion' in the painting" 5 casual look at the painting would reveal that the painter has not painted fro en images, rather people in casual movements" It is indeed easy to paint to perfection the images of people who pose for a painting" *ut here the artist has painted to perfection, children and adults in their casual movements" The position of their hands ? legs, the posture of the painter, the girl's leg on the dog as an informal act of play, etc reveal the artist's achievement in depicting to perfection the people in their rela)ed movements" Diego's painting of Les Meninas has thrown upon a numerous debates on what the painting actually depicts" It is surprising to note that people have spent decades to analy e this painting" *ased on the common understanding of the painting, it is easy to say that it depicts a common scene in the royal art gallery, where model pose for paintings, surrounded by courtiers, royal mass and the spectators" *ut the speciality of the painting is that it creates a triangular relation among the model, the painter and the spectators" 5 close observation would reveal that the image on the mirror is not the real image of the royal couple, who pose for the painting" *ut it is not clear and

distinct enough to get !ualified as the mirror image of actual people" *ut it is 9ust the reflection of the painting within the painting @ the royal artist's painting of the royal couple" So the entire picture presents a scene, as seen through the eyes of the royal couple, who pose for the painting" The people before canvas, e)cept for the dwarf and the painter, are actually looking at the royal couple and not the canvas" /urther, the man at the far entrance represents the spectators" The painting is brain racking that stands as an intellectual challenge for the spectators to comprehend its point of view" =nly a close analysis of the mirror image will give them an insight into the aspects of painting" The painting is a real masterpiece" I was indeed bowled over by the author's concentration on minute details in the painting" I was especially taken aback by the author's depiction of dog" It seems to be a dog alive" I would not feel it !uite odd to say that the entire painting breathes" >es, everyone in it seems to be alive and breathing" Such is the reality of the painting" /urthermore, the painting is not merely a visual delight" It is also a gateway to understand the unsurpassable mastery of the classical painters and their intellectual pursuits" The painting would reveal no insights at a casual glance" It has to be analysed, pondered and studies" It is indeed shocking to know that it took /oucalt, a historian, almost a decade to have a clear insight into the actual implication of the painting" This is a must8see piece of work for anyone who e)hibits interest in the field of art, especially painting" It is an embodiment of the perfect blend of artistic element" In the modern world of digital printing, the painting would create an admiration and reverence in the minds of people for the painter" /or, the depiction looks so real that we feel like e)periencing the scene physically through our naked eyes"