Diego Velázquez's Paintings

velázquez the artist

Velázquez’s artworks included many depictions of culturally and historically significant scenes. His paintings became the ideal example for impressionist and realist artists in the 19th century.

early life

Raised in humble conditions, he showed an early talent for drawing and was assigned to Francisco Pacheco, a Seville-based artist, and instructor.

in madrid

By the early 1620s, Velázquez had solidified his status in Seville. In April 1622, he proceeded to Madrid with papers of recommendation to Don Juan de Fonseca, the King’s chaplain.

italian period

Velázquez was granted authorization to stay a year and a half in Italy in 1629. He visited Ferrara, Venice, Cento, Rome, Bologna, and Loreto, among other places.

middle period

In January 1631, Velázquez traveled back to Madrid. That same year, he finished the first of several of Velázquez’s portraits of the future king.


Apart from the 34 portraits of Philip by Velázquez, he also produced portraits of other royal family members, including, Elisabeth of Bourbon (the King’s first wife), and her children, particularly her eldest son.

later paintings

Philip IV continually requested Velázquez’s return to Spain beginning in February 1650. After touring Venice and Naples, Velázquez went to Spain through Barcelona in 1651.

creation of las meninas

Margaret Theresa, the incoming queen’s eldest child, seems to be the focus of Velázquez’s greatest effort. It was completed four years before the his demise and is seen as a masterpiece of Baroque art in Europe.

final years

The last of Velázquez’s final portraits of the heirs to the throne are among his greatest accomplishments, and in the Infanta Margarita Teresa in a Blue Dress (1659), the artist’s sense of style achieved its peak.


Velázquez was not a productive painter; it is thought that he created between 110 and 120 known works. He didn’t make any etchings or prints, and just a few sketches are ascribed to him.

technique and style

It is customary to split Velázquez’s career into two halves based on his two travels to Italy. He seldom signed his paintings, and only his most notable pieces are dated in the royal records.

famous works

Some of Velázquez's most famous works include Old Woman Frying Eggs (1618), Portrait of Innocent X (1650), and Las Meninas (1656).