From copying Velázquez to “The Shelving of Velázquez” I have not only learned trade and technique, also anecdotes and curious stories.
In “The Shelving of Velázquez” I wanted to keep, as the student who keeps his notes to always review them, the naturalistic representations of some of the many objects that the master painted.
Upper shelves in “The Shalving of Velázquez”
– On the top shelf I keep the búcaro with the bouquet of daisy flowers, alluding to the portrait, which I copied from the “Portrait of Princess Daisy of Austria” (1654, Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum). I have also copied from the painting of “Las Meninas” (1656, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado) a small red jug, aguamanil, with its tray, which the Doña Agustina Sarmiento menina offers to the infanta to drink. Behind me I painted a carrycot hanging with a cloth inside, it can be seen in the painting “La mulata” (1617, National Gallery of Ireland) and it is one of his first known works.
I wanted to include a photo of the “Self-portrait of Titian” (1564, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado) From the beginning, Titian was his teacher and reference. Many times Velázquez could see, observe and study the collection of Titian’s works in the old Alcazar of Madrid.
-I have placed on the next shelf a large book with loose sheets that I have copied from the painting “Portrait of Diego de Acedo, el Primo (1644, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado).
His nickname “El Primo” was because his second last name was Velázquez as well. Diego was not a jester, but an official who was in charge of filing the bells with a royal seal. What is on the big book is a canister to glue the loose leaves.
Velázquez painted this portrait in Fraga (Huesca) on the day of Aragon on the occasion of the capture of Lleida during the uprising of Catalonia.
Lower shelves in “The Shalving of Velázquez”
-Next, on the third shelf of “The Shalving of Velázquez”, I copied a globe that can be seen in the painting “The geographer” (circa 1635, Rouen, Museum of Fine Arts). Next to it I have placed a German desktop clock that can be seen in the picture “Portrait of Queen Mariana of Austria” (1652, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado). The queen was a watch collector, so this copy is supposed to be one of her favorites. Currently an equal model can be seen in the Museum of Decorative Arts in Madrid.
-On the last shelf I have placed a jug of wine copied from “Los borrachos”, also called “Triunfo de Baco” or “Bacanal” (1626, Museo del Prado). It is indeed a most rustic bacchanal. Next to it I have placed a book and rolled files copied from the painting “Menipo” (1639, Museo del Prado) How can such a tall character be inclined to pick up those papers? And he does not need it because this wise and philosopher man seems to know everything by heart.
I have also painted a sheet of paper where I have put the signature and I have written:
“The Master did not sign because it is inimitable, but I do”
“The Bookshelf of Velázquez”, oil on a door will run old, 138.5 x 68 cm.
Fotografías finales de la obra por José Garrido Lapeña