11 July 2006

Best portrait ever

This is Juan de Pareja, by the great Diego Velazquez. Every time I go to the Met in New York I stand and stare at it, wondering how others can just walk by. I think this is the best portrait in the world. It captures a sense of presence and humanity like no other painting I've ever seen.

(And before you say anything, Leonardo's overworked Mona Lisa doesn't even come close.)


Natalia said...

I know what you mean. I love The Arnolfini Portrait. Every time I go to the National Gallery in London I stare at it until the people that work there start looking at me suspiciously. Not everyone gets why I love it. I have a copy of it at home. Sometimes I see people look at it and see it for the first time even if they have seen it before. But they see it for the first time the way I see it. I think it's an amazing painting...but I know not everyone agrees.


David said...

The Arnolfini Portrait is another fine painting. I very much like van Eyck and other very early Netherlandish oil painters like Robert Campin and Rogier van der Weyden. Eventually, I'll do one or more posts on early Flemish oil painting technique.

Anonymous said...

I love that portrait too and i agree, is hard to think about something more real & alive in portraiture.

Whats wrong with the mona lisa?
The only problem about her is the fame she has, appart from that is a perfect painting and full of magic.
Remember also the time, renaissance vs baroque, things changed a lot, specially regarding to facial expressions.

Yes mona lisa was overworked, and thats one of the reasons is something unreachable for painters, a treasure cause no one else will do anything similar probably.