Velasquez Diego - The Rokeby
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Dimensions: Image: 18" x 26" / Paper: 23.75" x 28.5"
rare original vintage print on high grade paper
The Rokeby Venus is a mid-17th century painting by Diego Velázquez, commissioned for Spain’s Royal Court. The artwork depicts the goddess Venus in a sensual pose, lying on a bed and looking into a mirror held by Cupid. This is the only surviving female nude by Velázquez and is considered one of his most celebrated works.
The folds of the bedsheets accentuate the gentle arch of Venus’ body. The silkiness of her skin is echoed by them and even more pronounced by the color contrast. The use of color is sparing but masterful. The painting plays out between large areas of nuanced and contrasting colors: dark steel of the bedsheet, red curtain, and beige wall provide a perfect background to enhance Venus’ pale, almost translucent bodyYou can see that Cupid focuses on the angle of the mirror It is for a reason, do not be fooled that Venus is looking at herself and Cupid looks at her reflection…They are both looking at you! Cupid is making sure the angle is perfect for Venus to see who is watching her. This trick is actually known as the Venus Effect. It subverts the traditional nude, in which the model is the object of the viewer’s gaze, often unknowingly. Here we are being secretly watched while watching.