Velázquez, Los Borrachos, and Painting at the Court of Philip IV

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9780521444521: Velázquez, Los Borrachos, and Painting at the Court of Philip IV
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This book explains the origins of Los Borrachos ("The Drunkards"), a celebrated but bewildering mythological painting of international fame, created by Diego de Velázquez for Philip IV of Spain around 1628-29. By studying Velázquez's early years at court (1623-29) and the role that historians of his day assigned to Bacchus, the author reaches a dramatic new interpretation of the picture. There are many monographs devoted to Velázquez's entire life, but no book focuses on this painting or the artist's early career at court in such depth.

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This book explains the origins of Los Borrachos ('The Drunkards'), created by Diego de Velázquez for Philip IV of Spain around 1628-29. By studying Velázquez's early years at court (1623-29) and the role that historians of his day assigned to Bacchus, the author reaches a dramatic new interpretation of the picture.

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"Orso's study challenges...old biases by substituting the painting within its historical context...It is, without a doubt, the best work in English on mythological painting in Spain. It also significantly expands our knowledge of the artist's creative process and of artistic politics at court. Art historians will be delighted by the generous illustrations, the invaluable appendices, and the copious bibliography. Historians will find its contextual approach and broad historical scope engaging. Orso's third book...upholds his reputation as one of the major voices in the field, and secures his position as the leading authority on art production during the reign of King Philip IV." SSPHS Bulletin

"Steven Orso's meticulously researched and convincingly argued study advances a new and intriguing interpretation of the painting, and proposes a correspondingly new title: Bacchus in Iberia....Orso's prose is clear and unobstructed, fluidly moving the reader through what might, in less skilled hands, be a dry exhibition of historical proofs. Overall, his interpretation is carefully argued, leaving one with the conviction that the painting indeed merits its proposed new title, Bacchus in Iberia." Susan Webster, Renaissance Quarterly

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