Inner Life: Diego Velázquez and Las Meninas

Diego Velázquez painted Las Meninas four years before his death in 1660. The painting’s penetrating view of life in the Spanish court is matched by its profundity and mystery. It has been an object of fascination and scrutiny for scholars and artists ever since its completion. We spoke with Laura Cumming, author of The Vanishing Velázquez, about the painting, its origins, and its hard-to-grasp meaning.

For the renowned art critic and historian Laura Cumming, there is no question when it comes to the greatest work of Diego Velázquez: Las Meninas, the late masterpiece that depicts an intimate, unguarded scene in the Spanish court.

Cumming’s love …

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