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The toilet of Venus

Diego Velazquez • Painting, 1651, 122×177 cm
Digital copy: 2.7 MB
6162 × 4226 px • JPEG
177 × 122 cm • 88 dpi
104.3 × 71.6 cm • 150 dpi
52.2 × 35.8 cm • 300 dpi
Digital copy is a high resolution file, downloaded by the artist or artist's representative. The price also includes the right for a single reproduction of the artwork in digital or printed form.
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Nude, Mythological scene
Style of art: Baroque
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1651
Size: 122×177 cm
Artwork in collection: National gallery, London Elena Nastyuk
Artwork in selections: 107 selections
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Description of the artwork «The toilet of Venus»

"Venus with a mirror" is in the works of Velasquez very special place: it is his only painting with explicitly erotic overtones. Never – neither before nor after Velasquez this kind of work wrote.

Nude occasionally appeared in his paintings of mythological subject, to which, however, he was not a great hunter (1, 2, 3). The Church and the Holy Inquisition belonged to the genre of Nudes frown (by the way, father-in-law of Velasquez Francisco Pachecotook this influential institution, the post of censor of painting). If there was in Velasquez paintings glorifying the beauty of the lines of the female body, none of them survived until our days. Except "Venus before a mirror".

On a bed, covered with black and white silk sheets, his back to the viewer lies planetarnaya woman with dark hair tied at the back into a simple Greek knot. She props up his head with his right hand and looks in the mirror in a black wooden frame which keeps the winged Cupid. It is known that earlier and the picture was inserted into a black frame is created an intriguing doubling effect.

Of particular interest, of course, causes the model's personality with which the artist was able to write "Venus before a mirror". But Velasquez prudently makes a reflection of the person of the heroine are hardly outlined, mysteriously blurred. Apparently, he wanted no one opened it incognito. Only in 1983 year, the leaked document, according to which during stay velázquez in Italy (about 1649-1651)he had an extramarital relationship from which a son Antonio. The boy was born, when Velasquez will leave Italy forever and go back to Spain, and his mother, presumably, was an Italian painter of Triva Flaminia (Flaminia Triva). Many believe that her beauty Velasquez sang in the film "Venus with a mirror".

The glory of the paintings had bad. Behind it was a long and dark trail of rumors. She has many times passed from hand to hand. Told me that one of the first owners of the painting of Velasquez was a Madrid merchant. As soon as he has acquired "Venus" commercial luck left him: the goods transported by sea, partially sank, was partially looted by pirates. To compensate for the losses, the owner had resold the painting to another dealer, but he she did not bring happiness. Soon all of his commercial premises burnt down from a lightning strike. Another owner of "Venus" was the pawnbroker. Saying that it is not expired and three days after the purchase of the painting, how it happened irreparable: it is first robbed and then slaughtered by bandits.

Of course, the history is long – still the middle of the XVII century. and is not subject to scientific verification, but about the further adventures of the "Venus with the mirror" we know more accurately. At the end of the eighteenth century she came to the Duchess of Alba Caetanothat she was the model for Goya's "The Nude Maha"and "Maha dressed". Together with both of them painting by velázquez hung in the boudoir of the Duchess until her death. Then "Venus" bought Manuel Godoy – Spanish Prime Minister and favorite of Queen Maria Luisa (Goya also wroteand one of the sketches by Goya with the Nude model and mirror– suspiciously like the work of Velazquez). In 1906 the painting was acquired by the London national gallery. It would seem – here it, a haven that "Venus" gained after a long journey. But here, the rest she's only dreamed of. March 10, 1914, the year the suffragette Mary Richardson, who fought for women's voting rights by throwing stones in glass of the British Parliament, came up with a new promotion. She managed to smuggle in a gallery steak knife and violently ripped open the soft flesh of Venus. Mary after serving several years in prison and write about your act of vandalism of the book, and the "Venus" of Velasquez could safely be restored. In the London national gallery it is now.

Author: Anna Yesterday