Prado Museum: Velázquez & Las Meninas with Marta López Beriso - Context Travel

Prado Museum: Velázquez & Las Meninas with Marta López Beriso


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If Velázquez knew that his gift to King Philip IV, the human-sized canvas known today as “Las Meninas”, is the most visited at the Prado Museum, he might have mixed feelings. On the one hand, he may have been embarrassed because his painting was meant to be seen by one person only: the king himself. On the other hand, he would have been pleased to see that his “illusionistic” technique was so much admired through the centuries by such a large number of people.

In this conversation, we will analyze what is going on in this magnificent piece of artwork. Our art historian will help to translate the painting for the viewer whilst exploring the historical narrative that goes alongside Las Meninas. Why did Velázquez portray himself with the royal family? What is the intended message in Las Meninas? Why is this piece of art so renowned? We’ll learn more about Velázquez’s personal claim to the King and his ultimate goal with the creation of this painting as well as the King’s reaction to this celebrated artwork. We’ll also talk about Velázquez’s thinking behind the role of the artist in proving that creativity and art is not manual work, moreover intellectual talent.

Led by an expert on Art History, Marta López Beriso, this interactive seminar will carefully approach the meanings of Las Meninas by describing the visual elements, offering a tool for enjoying art in general. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased interest and knowledge about the Prado Museum Collection and Spanish History.

Professor Marta López Beriso is an active scholar and educator in the field of Art History. She teaches at various American universities in Madrid. She holds degrees in Art History and Arcaheology (B.A. Université de La Sorbonne-Paris IV), Arts and Culture Administration (M.A. Universidad de Barcelona), and a PhD in Art History, expertise in History of Photography (Universidad Complutense de Madrid). She is also the founder and director of “Aulas de Arte”, a private non-profit organization, dedicated to educational services in museums, nationwide and internationally. Born and raised in Madrid, she has studied in Paris and also worked in New York at the beginning of her professional career, at MOMA. Back in Madrid she feels the city as a cosmopolitan insider. She knows both the historical and traditional Madrid she discovered with her mother and grandmother as well as the most contemporary and alternative side of the city.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.