No painting had greater historical and personal meaning to Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) than Diego Velázquez's 1656 masterpiece The Maids of Honor (Las Meninas).2 He first witnessed it as a 14-year-old adolescent when his father, an art teacher, took him to the Prado Museum in Madrid to examine the works of the great Spanish artists. The visit was at a critical time in Picasso's artistic development. Within 2 years, despite his youth, he was accepted for entry into the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid. While an art student in 1897, Picasso completed his first sketch of the 2 central maids of honor, Isabel de Velasco and María Agustina.3(p152)
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Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Spanish. Las Meninas, after Velazquez 27 (Infanta Margarita Maria), 1957. Oil on canvas, 37⅜ × 31⅞ in (100 × 81 cm). Museu Picasso, Barcelona, Spain (http://www.museupicasso.bcn.es/en/). The Bridgeman Art Library. © 2010 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York, New York.
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (1599-1660), Spanish. Las Meninas (The Maids of Honor. Las Meninas or The Family of Philip IV, c 1656. Oil on canvas, 125.2 × 108.7 in (318 × 276 cm). Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain (http://www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/online-gallery/on-line-gallery/obra/the-family-of-felipe-iv-or-las-meninas/). Giraudon/The Bridgeman Art Library, New York, New York.
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