Velaquez Master Copy
Detail of Portrait of Juan de Pareja 1650
8 x 10 in
Oil on Wood Panel ©2022
Juan de Pareja became an artist in adulthood but had been born into slavery in Spain in the early 17th century. As such, he spent years as an assistant to Diego Velazquez, official court painter to Philip IV and creator of the famous Las Meninas. His portrait of Juan portrays him as a dignified gentleman and an equal. Yet it took at least 5 more years for Velazquez to grant his assistant his freedom.