What is the course about?
Diego Velázquez (1599-1660), is regarded by many as the greatest painter in the history of Western art. We will look at the development of his art from the hard-edged realism of his earliest days in Seville to the almost breathable air of his later portraits and allegories. We will focus especially on later works, such as Las hilanderas (the spinners, around 1657) and Las Meninas, and consider some of the most compelling ways in which they have been interpreted. We will explore Velázquez’s artistic and political role as court painter at the centre of Philip IV’s Empire, and his imaginative hold over later painters including Francisco Goya, Édouard Manet, Pablo Picasso, and Francis Bacon.
What will we cover?
• The formal and technical development of Velázquez’s painting
• Interpreting Velázquez’s paintings
• Velázquez’s position and role in relation to 17th century Spanish society and politics.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Discuss three major works by Velázquez in terms of their composition and formal, technical values
• Summarise an interesting interpretation of three late paintings by Velázquez
• Identify the main characteristics of Velázquez’s art as seen by Édouard Manet.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for all levels.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught with Slide presentation, group and small-group discussion, and handouts with list of works, quotations, and recommendations for reading and exhibitions.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You might wish to bring a notebook. You might wish to buy some of the books on any reading list given out in class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You might also be interested in:
VB848 - 20th Century Spanish Art and Culture.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details