Diego Velazquez (1599-1660)
Velazquez was one of the most important European artists of the 17th century, spending his career from 1623 in the service of Philip IV of Spain. His early canvases comprised bodegones and religious paintings, but as a court artist he was largely occupied in executing portraits, while also producing some historical, mythological and further religious works.
His painting were deeply affected by the work of Rubens and by Venetian artists, especially Titian, as well as by the experience of two trips to Italy. Under these joint influences he developed a uniquely personal style characterized by very loose, expressive brushwork. Although he had no immediate followers, he was greatly admired by such later painters as Goya and Manet.
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