Monday, February 7, 2011



This is a great painting which displays Valazquez's ability to paint common people in their daily activities.  His treatment of textures and surfaces is amazing.  I have tried to duplicate this in my diorama made mostly of wood, except for his garment which is made of canvas cloth.  Notice in the background on the right one can imagine that I might have been there.  This is another big one which is 5 ft high, 4 ft wide and 1 ft deep.


Yes,  I known there is a chair is in front of the diorama but I was not able to move all of my stuff out of the way and this view is all I have at the moment.  I certainly couldn't move the diorama because it weights a ton and is 5 ft wide, 4 ft tall and 1 ft deep.

This painting is also known as "The Fable o Arachne".  Arachne was a young woman (shown in the foreground on the right wearing white blouse) of great skill at weaving tapestries. This ability was so great that it outshown the goddess of weaving, Minerva who is disguised as an older woman sitting at the spinning wheel (this part of the fable is shown in the foregound). Minerva challenges Arachne to weave a tapestry glorifing the god Jupiter. When they are finished Arachne’s great talent is obvious and Minerva is enraged. After tearing Arachne’s cloth to pieces Minerva chasts off her disguise and reveals herself in helmet and armour. This part of the fable is seen on a stage in the background which shows Minerva stricking Arachne with a shuttle on the forehead. Subsequently Minerva transforms Arachne into a spider who is compelled to make cobwebs for the rest of her life.  Seems strange that Minerva has a grey beard?  Also, the black cat resting on the floor in the foreground is our great cat, bagel, who was always with me when I worked on the dioramas.


Las Meninas if one of the greatest paintings of all times.  It shows Velazquez, on the left, in the process of painting the royal couple who can be seen as a reflection in the mirror on the back wall.  In his studio the heiress to the throne of Spain, Infanta Margarita, is shown in the center.  Attending her is the maid of honor who is kneeling and handing her a small jug of water.  Standing to the right of Margarita is another maid of honor and a female dwarf.  Lying on the floor is a large court dog, probably a mastiff.  In the dark background on the right is a guard or escort to the ladies and lady in waiting.  In the middle of the painting the palace marshal is ascending steps which lead to a brightly lit adjoining room.  Looks like he has a grey beard?

My diorama does not do the great painting justice and my photo certainly falls short.  Someday I hope to replace it with a better one.

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