Renaissance Art and Dons

On March 17, 2014 by tuckerj17

Las Meninas

Art of the renaissance era began with artists attempting to revive classicism, and in a way have their works reflect the age of antiquity.  However, this movement spread from the canvas and into society, inspiring a continent wide revival of classical culture.  This is seen most in the lives of the nobility, whose lifestyles were the most influential and whose gold commissioned much of the art of that era.  This fact means that much of this art allows us to have a visual glimpse into the lives of noblemen, noblewomen, and their families.

In no other work of art is this more obvious than in the painting Las Meninas by the famous Spanish royal court painter Diego Velazquez.  While it is widely disputed of what the main point of the painting is, in the main foreground is a young Habsburg princess being tended to by handmaidens, while Diego Velazquez looks at the viewer with palette in hand.  In the background is a man that seems to have stopped in the doorway, while a mirror (or a painting?) displays a portrait of the king and queen.  This painting does a very good job at showing how many people tend to the nobility of this time, and it can be assumed that the same amount of care probably went into the tending of the house of the Cid, the Count of Toledo in Lazarillo de Tormes, and the many nobles that Don Quijote encounters in his travels.