For this assignment I chose to critique a portrait of king Felipe IV. I believe it is a ideal example of Baroque style because it has an extraordinary attention to detail, and portrays the King in his golden suit of armor. In one description of the Baroque style, it is described as a “period that is defined by the grandeur and opulence of its art,” (Abdou, 2018). I find this portrait to show a stoic individual, although the lack of facial expression seems to be standard in many portraits of that time period. There also seems to be childlike qualities to his facial composition, such as large pouty lips and full features, that makes me wonder if Velazquez was trying to create similarities between King Felipe IV and his son Baltasar Carlos, both of which he did several portraits of.
What is the artist trying to say?
I believe that Velazquez was trying to portray King Felipe IV as an honorable and formidable individual. His posture is erect and his chest is wide and covered by golden armor, yet his eyes are soft and forgiving. As I mentioned above, this may be another attempt to give him childlike features, or may to portray the King as having empathy.
Does he or she succeed?
I imagine that Velazquez succeeded in creating the features as he intended, and that those that viewed the painting were left with the impressions that Velazquez was hoping for. Portraits at that time were critiqued by those they were made for, so I am sure King Felipe IV was satisfied with the work, or we most likely would have never seen it.
Was the artwork worth the effort?
It is my belief that all artwork is worth the effort. As a recreational painter myself, it took a long time to realize that I enjoyed the painting process itself more than admiring the finished product. As far as the description in our text is concerned, if a painting is worth the effort than the artist has communicated and important or unique perception, (Sporre, 2015). I believe this artwork is worth the effort, as there is great depth and insight into who King Felipe IV shown in the work.
Sporre, D. 2015. Perceiving the Arts: An Introduction to the Humanities, 11th Edition. Pearson. Upper Saddle River, NJ.
Abdou, K. 2018. Exploring the Extravagance and Drama of Baroque Art and Architecture. Retrieved from: https://mymodernmet.com/baroque-period/