Monday, February 15, 2016

Dialogue-ing with Velazquez

.... Court life through an artist's critical eye


FreeThinke said...

I found myself longing to know what Sister Wendy might have said about it.

I, personally, have always found this work oddly disquieting. The figures –– particularly the little princess in the center –– seem to hold their poses so stiffly. There's an almost unbearable static quality about the picture. One gets the feeling that were they alive, they would never succeed in touching each other in ny meaningful way. They are all looking past one another s though each had an agenda strictly his own. Also, it seems more than a little eerie the way none of the figures seem to relate, personally, with any degree of warmth or empathy to any of the others. It is as if each believes he is standing there all alone. Very strange, indeed.

The hideous, dimly lit dwarf woman juxtaposed on the same plane as the glowing little blonde princess, whom we soon discover is not nearly as pretty as she first appeared when viewed from a distance, makes a grotesque contrast that adds greatly to the eerie, disquieting nature of the painting.

I can admire the craftsmanship that went into the work, but I can't like it. There is an oddly nightmarish quality about it. Living with it in the same house would be impossible. Frankly, it gives me the willies.

Thersites said...

Perhaps too technical. I still prefer it to Picasso's. ;)

FreeThinke said...

I enjoy Picasso immensely, probably because i was taken to the Museum of Modern Art at an early impressionable age at a time when most conscious Americans still believe we were making "progress," and so gazing a his bizarre images became an indelible part of whatpi-now-realize-was an enchanted youth.

That said I doubt if could live with Picasso any more than I could Las Meninas.

I have always felt at home, and very much reassured by most of the Impressionists –– the Last Gasp of a gentle, elegant, flourishing Civilization focused on Beauty, Romance, Wit and Charm before it plunged itself into Darkness, Degeneracy, Decline. Decay and Despair.