L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Of mythology and the Bible, two favorite paintings by Velázquez

Apolo en la fragua de Vulcano or, La fragua de Vulcano ("Apollo in the Forge of Vulcan"), 1629 or 30.

A preparatory sketch for the head of Apollo.


La túnica de José ("Joseph's Tunic" or, "Joseph's Bloody Coat Brought to Jacob"), 1630.


These two large paintings - almost exactly the same size at seven by eight feet and seven by nine, respectively - were painted during Velázquez' year and a half sojourn in Italy. While illustrating very different subject matter, because of their scale and compositional similarity, they are often thought of as a sort of pair. Though typically housed in different museums - the Vulcan's Forge at the Prado, Joseph's Coat at the Escorial - the two were "re-united" earlier this year in an exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris.


  1. I didn't even recognize them as Velazquez! crazy homoerotic.... different technique than his usual. Apparently very influenced by the Italians.

    1. Yes, influenced by his Italian surroundings when they were being painted, certainly. But very distinctive; a different side of the artist, but very true to the whole of his work. Such graceful poses. Such beautifully proportioned figures. Beautiful bodies, but not over-idealized; they seem real and weighted. And, yes, damn sexy... the legs.... : )

  2. Oh goodness. I love both these paintings, while the "Apollo in the Forge of Vulcan" has been a screensaver for a long while now. Utterly beautiful. Great sense of motion—and yes those damn sexy legs!

  3. The range of facial expressions is also remarkable. So life-like and believable in the context of the stories being illustrated.

    Also, sexy legs and sexy backs! Love Velazquez.