In the third Amuze Art Lecture, we analyze Diego Velázquez’s painting of Venus admiring herself in the mirror. It is one of the highlights of the National Gallery in London and also part of our audio tour of this free museum in the Amuze app. We hope you enjoy our two-minute discussion of this masterpiece and if you are interested in more Amuze Art Lectures, just check out our YouTube channel.
The painting got its popular name, Rokeby Venus, because of its history. When John Morritt purchased it in 1813, he hung the painting in Rokeby Park, Yorkshire, and that location has since been associated with this painting.
This painting is the only surviving female nude by Diego Velázquez. While this may sound surprising, the main reason for this is that Velázquez just painted few nudes. 17th-century Spain was very religious, and the Inquisition was carefully monitoring the art that was produced. And nudes were not acceptable. Velázquez, though, did not have to worry about this so much as he was the court painter and had the protection of the Spanish king. And that is why we can admire this only female nude by one of the best Baroque painters in the world.
If you are interested in some of our earlier Amuze Art Lectures, you can check out: