Velasquez and Bernini

Velasquez and Bernini

Velasquez and Bernini

Comparing and contrasting Velasquez and Bernini

The 15th and 16th century saw the birth of some great artists across Europe. This paper compares and contrasts two regional variations and artists that is; Spanish (Velasquez) and the Italian (Bernini) by looking at what they stood for, their similarities and differences and it concludes by giving a personal opinion on who stood out between the two. 

Spanish (Velasquez) 

In Spain, Velazquez an accomplished portrait artist was famous for his paintings on historical and cultural themes during the European baroque period of art. He was fondly associated with some great works such as the Las Meninas (1656) which was an all-time favorite amongst art lovers (Goldberg, 1992). He was a Christian, and he schooled in the special fields of languages as well as philosophy. He was an adherent of long-bristled brushes for his works. Besides artwork he also taught at times. His realism-based paintings were inspired by his religious back ground of Christianity. His outstanding works contributed to the rise of the Velazquez style which was especially common because of his closeness to the royal family under Phillip IV who was at the reign in Spain at that time. 

Actually he continued with religious paintings with his most famous being the Christ Crucified (1632). He was famous beyond borders and served as the chief artist for King Philip IV and for a long period acted as the King’s painter. His main differences from the Italy’s Bernini artist are that: He liked and painted on historical and cultural contexts as well as portraits. He unlike Bernini painted not for monetary gains.  Unlike Bernini he really expressed and upheld realism in his works.

Italian (Bernini)

Unlike Velazquez who was a painter, Bernini was more involved in sculpture. However both were masters in their fields. For both Velazquez and Bernini, they were good in multitasking as Bernini was also an architect of high standing. While Velazquez used bristled brush and canvas to paint, Bernini used chisel and marble to come up with sculptures. Both Bernini and Velazquez were religious at least at one time in their lives. Both were attached and close to royalties for Velazquez he was close to Philip IV and committed his later years to painting for the royal palace. As for Bernini he became close to Urban VIII who commissioned him to work for him. Bernini produced works related or attached to his faith as demonstrated by one of his works, ‘the remodeled Church of Santa Bibiana in Rome’ (Mormando, 2011).

Another striking similarity is how both were leading artists in their ages; for Bernini as a leading sculptor while for Velazquez he was a leading painter. Both artists traveled widely, while Velazquez made numerous trips to Italy, Bernini was a visitor to France at the invitation of the authorities. His visit to Paris projects his personality as that of a stubborn man especially because of assertions which offended the citizens when he alleged that Italy’s art was superior to that of France. We do not hear of such controversies from Velazquez.

Personal Preference

I prefer Velazquez over Bernini, because he employed naturalism and the way he could present situations as they are in reality especially the “Pope Innocent X painted in 1650 which he painted in such a real way it almost risked hurting his relations with the authorities. 

References

Goldberg, E. L. (1992) Velázquez in Italy: Painters, Spies and Low Spaniards”. The Art

Bulletin, Vol. 74, No. 3.pp. 453–456.

Mormando, F. (2011). Bernini: His Life and His Rome. Chicago: University of Chicago     Press.

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