Francisco De Zurbaran, Saint Serapion, 1628. Oil on canvas
* Serapion was a British martyr who was supposed to fight the Moors in Spain, who ended up being butchered in Algeria. * What makes this piece different is a complete lack of violence. There is no blood or any sign of a wound, as we can see his white robe is spotless. * Unlike most martyr paintings that make the subject seem heroic and brave, Zurbaran captures the true helplessness of the saint, winning the viewer’s emotions.
Diego Velazquez, Water Carrier of Seville, ca. 1619. Oil on canvas * This piece captures the social issue of the rich and poor of Spain during the time. * The contrast of dark and light shows elements of Caravaggio, who Velaquez had studied. * Although this scene shows everyday life, the care it conveys suggests a deeper meaning.
Diego Velazquez, Surrender of Breda, 1634-1635. Oil on canvas * Velazquez aided Philip IV in regaining power by using Surrender of Breda as propaganda. * This piece was not only a symbol of Spanish nationalism, but a tribute to Ambrogio Spinola, the Spanish general of this war. * Velazquez’s relationship with Spinola made Surrender of Breda especially historically accurate.
Diego Velazquez, King Philip IV of Spain (Fraga Philip), 1644. Oil on canvas * Velazquez portrays Philip as a military leader by focusing attention on his marvelous red and silver campaign dress. * The painting is also known as Fraga Philip, because it was painted in the town of Fraga in Aragon. * This portrait was just another example of Velazquez’s propagandistic images...