Thursday, August 02, 2012

From the past
The wonder of Velazquez' royal portraits is that they describe a friendship between two men both of whom knew which of them would be remembered and which forgotten, and who knew equally that this would never be acknowledged by either of them nor by anyone that they would ever meet. Velazquez used all his skill to demonstrate to the world the power and just authority of the Spanish monarchy, but a humanist education and honesty could not bring him to show people as other than he saw them. So we see weak and melancholy kings and noble dwarfs, and -- for perhaps the first time in art in 1500 years-- not an image of the nobility of a political or religious order but an image of the nobility of the need to believe.

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