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Velazquez: Painter and Courtier [Paperback]

5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

1 July 1988
Offers a detailed biography of the seventeenth century Spanish painter, looks at all of his paintings, and discusses the original technique Velazquez developed for his art.

Product details

  • Paperback: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; New edition edition (1 July 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300038941
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300038941
  • Product Dimensions: 32.7 x 26.4 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 652,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
DIEGO DE VELAZQUEZ was born in Seville in 1599, the first of seven children of Juan Rodríguez de Silva and Jerónima Velazquez.1 Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fundamental study of Velazquez 5 Feb 2013
By Kate
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a scholarly but very accessible study of Velazquez, by the world's foremost authority on Spanish Golden Age painting. Extremely well illustrated, with enlargements of details impossible to appreciate even in front of the originals, and a careful evaluation of evidence on Velazquez sources, as well as an informed appreciation and engagement with the paintings themselves. A delight to possess.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best place to start, or continue study 27 July 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Having never read a book on Velazquez, I took a suggestion from one of my teachers and picked this one up at the library (art books are too expensive!). Being a fine arts/art history student, this was like discovering gold. The book is very well-written. I was able to travel the halls of the Spanish court with ease, because of the lucid, conversational style of writing. Brown doesn't mince words, and his inclusion of 17th century Spanish history is done where it needs to be. Everything in the book is there to inform the reader about Velazquez, whether it's his life, technique, or those around him. Most interesting is how the mood and frivolities of court greatly affected Velazquez's output. Brown states in his introduction that the book is for both the casual reader, and the scholar. After reading the book, this is very true. Scholars would do well to read this book, as Brown offers highly educated opinions and conclusions on Velazquez's style of painting, and the internal and external reasons around the artist that made him paint the way he did, both in quality and quantity. If you can afford this, buy it by all means. It offers the student a great grounding from which to explore Velazquez's paintings, and the techniques seen therein.
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Velazquez books 28 Dec 2005
By David Kasman - Published on
This is one of the best books on Velazquez. Velazquez a prototypical "painter's painter", was a master at achieving "more with less". This large format book depicts virtually every work that is currently attributed to the artist. So, for practical purposes, it serves as a Velazquez catalogue raisonne. Large, very clear color and B&W photos allow you to get a good feel for the way Velazquez constucted his paintings. Emile Carolus-Duran, a solid 19th century academic painter and Sargent's teacher, urged his students to "study Velazquez without respite". This is an exceptional book from which to study!

AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT MY ART BOOK REVIEWS: It might seem as though I rate most art books very favorably. The reason for this is that I usually visit my local library before buying a book. I'll look at all (in print and out of print) of the Rembrandt (for example) books and choose my favorite one to purchase. In the case of an artist's monograph, I try to choose one or two comprehensive books for each artist. These are generally large, well illustrated hardcovers with above average reproduction quality and informative text, often by one of the leading scholars on the artist. Thus, by the time I purchase a book, I have already found it to be among the best available on the subject.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Velazquez 21 Sep 2003
By Nancy Bea Miller - Published on
This is the best book I have yet seen on Velazquez. Informative and lushly illustrated: its got the pictures AND the thousand words (and more). As a painter myself I use this book almost like a holy book; for guidance, inspiration and refreshment of the spirit.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All that an art book should be 31 Oct 2008
By Steve Henderson - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book should be held up before the publishing world as a shining example of what an art book should be: it is BIG in size, BIG in reproductions with some close ups and with just enough information. The crucial point of ANY art book in my humble opinion should be BIG reproductions with the writing playing a supportive not overwhelming role. Among my library of some 100 art books this book ranks among the favorites.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Rembrant? 13 Sep 2009
By Hal Dewaltoff - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was interested in Velazquez because he was such a strong influence on two painters I like very much--Sargent and William Merritt Chase. His story which is told in a straightfoward and engaging manner is one that as an artist I appreciate. Not the patronage of a king--don't think that happens much anymore, but his recognition that though he was an accomplished if not masterful painter, he still needed to learn more and took off to Italy to study the great masters whose work adorned the walls and ceilings of the churches of Rome. Both Sargent and Chase did essentially the same by travelling to the Prado to copy Velazquez.

My only wish was that the images were larger and all in color. Otherwise this is a terrific book that tells of the life of a great painter whose portraits in my mind are equal to the great Rembrant.
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