The trompe-l’oeil “The Velázquez’s cupboard”

This work, the trampantojo “The Velázquez’s cupboard”, is a consequence of my curiosity, almost gastronomic, arising from the kitchen pictures of the young and great Velázquez.

Velázquez was a Sevillian kid when he entered the workshop with his teacher and future father-in-law Francisco Pacheco. And he already had that realistic filter that would give him celebrity in the back of his eyes. Possibly he had already admired and studied plates and pictures of the Baroque, from the time he had to live, Juan de Roelas, Herrera el Viejo, etc.

But there is a turning point, in my opinion. And it is because the incipient realism in him, and the naturalism of his pictorial formation in the workshop, are intertwined, as in a basket. And so they create the plot on which the Sevillian genius begins to draw what will be the most “natural” realism. Reason why his work has been defined as a “perfect trampantojo”.

Detail of "Jesús in Marta's house" de Velasquez
“Jesus in Marta’s house”, detail

Velázquez from a very young age was cooked and seasoned in the kitchens of the workshop. Grinding and sifting pigments, first for others, and then also for him. Macerating and filtering resins and varnishes with essences. And tensing and printing the linens with gesso, testing in this way the materials that would be the expression in the extension of his fingers.

From this office and the almost analytical observation of the fresh products of the pantries and kitchen utensils, one of the most wonderful pictorial realisms emerged, and the most naturalistic.

Shelves 1 and 2 of The Velasquez cupboard
Shelves 1 and 2 of “The Velázquez’s cupboard”

Velázquez’s kitchen cupboard

-Shelves 1 and 2 of el trampantojo “The Velázquez’s cupboard”
On the lower shelf I have placed the fish, the oil and two eggs. All this copied from the painting “Jesus in Marta’s house” (1619, London, National Gallery). Next I copied a bronze mortar from the “Old Frying Eggs” box (1619, Edinburgh, National Gallery of Scotland).
On the top shelf I have painted a large glass glass full of water. And inside a fig (to aromatize the water). Beside a pitcher called “alcarraza” (where fresh water was stored) and on top a white cup to drink. All this copied from the painting “The water seller of Seville” (1621, London, Wellington Museum). This painting, along with other masterpieces, was given to General Wellington by the most inept and “felon” of the kings who reigned in the kingdom of Spain, FernandoVII. (https://es.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_aguador_de_Sevilla)
Behind it hangs a carrycot copied from the painting “La mulata” (1617, Dublin, National Gallery of Ireland).

Vicente Carducho versus Velázquez

The contemporary painter and trader Vicente Carducho criticized and detested the painting of this genre of still lifes or “kitchens”. Especially those of Velázquez, because according to Carducho this genre was in the lowest step of the art of painting.
Francisco Pacheco, also a painter, master painter and father-in-law of Velázquez, responded to this opinion. And he wrote – “Still lifes are not esteemed?” Those of Velázquez yes, because during his performance he has discovered the greatest and true imitation of the natural”.
Shelves 3 and 4 of "The Velázquez's cupboard"
Shelves 3 and 4 of “The Velázquez’s cupboard”
-Shelves 3 and 4 of the trampantojo “The Velázquez’s cupboard”.
In this place in the Velázquez cupboard I have placed a bronze saucepan, a white vase and a decorated jug underneath. All this copied from the painting “La mulata” (1617, Dublin, National Gallery of Ireland). And behind I copied a carrycot with a rag from inside the painting “Old woman frying eggs” (1619, Edinburgh, National Gallery of Scotland).
On the top shelf I painted a small jar with two handles to drink water. And in the center I have placed a dry “choricero” pepper copied both from the painting “Jesús in the Marta’s house” (1619, London, National Gallery) and on the opposite side some plates and bowl upside down drying copied from the painting “La mulata”.
“The water seller of Seville” was the work that opened the doors of the palace to Velázquez. Luckily, Count Duque de Olivares knew how to see the talent and genius of his countryman very soon. Thus Velázquez, with only twenty-one years, began a career that will be fundamental in the history of painting.
Detail of "Old woman frying eggs" by Velázquez
“Old woman frying eggs”, detail
Photographs of the trampantojo “The Velázquez’s coupboard” by Jose Garrido Lapeña

2 thoughts on “The trompe-l’oeil “The Velázquez’s cupboard”

  1. With every thing which appears to be developing throughout this area, many of your opinions are quite stimulating. Even so, I beg your pardon, because I can not give credence to your whole theory, all be it radical none the less. It appears to us that your comments are generally not completely justified and in simple fact you are generally your self not totally convinced of the point. In any case I did take pleasure in examining it.

    1. Thanks for your opinions. I do not consider myself a researcher and wise of all this matter. Only transfer in the form of personal narration that the researchers of the life and work of Velázquez have made known. And I also apply my practical knowledge as an art restorer and artistic painter.
      In any case I appreciate your attention and I hope you like my answer.

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