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

Friday, February 2, 2018

Luis Veldrof, aposentador mayor y conserje del Real Palacio - portrait by Vicente López y Portaña, 1823

I've shared the work of López y Portaña before - and gushed my admiration for the work of this not-well-enough-known artist. The candor of his characterization, the lushness and precision of the details, the gorgeous, saturated color, his bravura brushwork; I find all of it wonderful. And I really love the very particular way he describes the contours of a face or hand, now the paint is laid down, the easily traceable path of his brush. It gives his portraiture a vitality, a marvelous sense of movement. I can think of no other artist of the period whose work is comparable in this regard.

Luis Veldrof was born in 1758 and entered the service of the Royal House of Spain at a very young age. Attendant to the Royal Family through their many travails, through exile and restoration, he had risen quickly through the ranks, and would spend the rest of his career in the personal service of the King. He became one of the most important officials of the court; in 1815 he was appointed Concierge of the royal palaces and, the following year, Senior Chamberlain. This portrait commemorates his long tenure in that capacity. Much decorated, he retired in 1834 and died six years later at the age of eighty-one.


  1. "the easily traceable path of his brush.."
    Yes, and thanks to these excellent high resolution images (how DO you manage it?) we can see just what you mean. Marvellous portrait by an artist unknown to me until now.

    1. I - scour - the internet for the biggest, best images of any painting I want to share here; I'm decidedly obsessive about this. Thankfully, better and larger images are being added all the time. And more and more museums are making really large files available, bless them. : )

  2. Hola! tuve la oportunidad de estar por unas pocas horas en el museo y siendo un simple observador, desconociendo de técnicas, historia, etc, etc... esta obra en vivo es fascinante.