Las Meninas (Spanish for The Maids of Honour) is a painting of 1656 by
Diego Velázquez, the leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age, in the
Museo del Prado in Madrid. The work's complex and enigmatic
composition raises questions about reality and illusion, and creates
an uncertain relationship between the viewer and the figures depicted.
Because of these complexities, Las Meninas has been one of the most
widely analysed works in Western painting. Las Meninas shows a large
room in the Madrid palace of King Philip IV of Spain, and presents
several figures, most identifiable from the Spanish court, captured,
according to some commentators, in a particular moment as if in a
snapshot. Some figures look out of the canvas towards the viewer,
while others interact among themselves. The young Infanta Margarita is
surrounded by her entourage of maids of honour, chaperone, bodyguard,
and two dwarfs. Las Meninas has long been recognised as one of the
most important paintings in Western art history. The Baroque painter
Luca Giordano said that it represents the "theology of painting",
while in the 19th century Sir Thomas Lawrence called the work "the
philosophy of art".
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Domnitor Alexander John Cuza merged his two principalities,
Wallachia and Moldavia, to form the United Principalities (now
King Leopold II of Belgium established the Congo Free State as his
personal possession in Africa through his organization Association
Internationale Africaine and his private army, the Force Publique.
Hourly Greenwich Time Signals from the Royal Greenwich Observatory
were first broadcast by the BBC.
A hydrogen bomb now known as the Tybee Bomb disappeared off the
shores of Tybee Island, Georgia after it was jettisoned during a
practice exercise when the bomber carrying it collided in midair with
a fighter plane.
The Revolutionary Artibonite Resistance Front captured Gonaïves,
Haiti, starting the 2004 Haitian rebellion against the government of
President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
Wiktionary's Word of the day:
dyspeptic: Of, relating to, or having dyspepsia or indigestion.
Wikiquote of the day:
Let’s talk sense to the American people. Let’s tell them the truth,
that there are no gains without pains, that we are now on the eve of
great decisions, not easy decisions, like resistance when you're
attacked, but a long, patient, costly struggle which alone can assure
triumph over the great enemies of man — war, poverty, and tyranny —
and the assaults upon human dignity which are the most grievous
consequences of each. -- Adlai Stevenson