Today we are mixing:
- The Painting: “Las Meninas” by Diego Velázquez
- The Soundtrack: “Father and Son” by Patrick Doyle from “Artemis Fowl” Soundtrack
About the Painting
Las Meninas Spanish for ‘The Ladies-in-waiting‘) is a 1656 painting in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, by Diego Velázquez, the leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age. Its complex and enigmatic composition raises questions about reality and illusion, and creates an uncertain relationship between the viewer and the figures depicted. Because of these complexities, Las Meninas has been one of the most widely analyzed works in Western painting.
The painting is believed by F. J. Sánchez Cantón to depict the main chamber in the Royal Alcazar of Madrid during the reign of King Philip IV of Spain, and presents several figures, most identifiable from the Spanish court, captured, according to some commentators, in a particular moment as if in a snapshot. Some look out of the canvas towards the viewer, while others interact among themselves. The then 5 years old Infanta Margaret Theresa is surrounded by her entourage of maids of honour, chaperone, bodyguard, two dwarfs and a dog. Just behind them, Velázquez portrays himself working at a large canvas. Velázquez looks outwards, beyond the pictorial space to where a viewer of the painting would stand. In the background there is a mirror that reflects the upper bodies of the king and queen. They appear to be placed outside the picture space in a position similar to that of the viewer, although some scholars have speculated that their image is a reflection from the painting Velázquez is shown working on.
Las Meninas has long been recognised as one of the most important paintings in Western art history. The Baroque painter Luca Giordano said that it represents the “theology of painting”, and in 1827 the president of the Royal Academy of Arts Sir Thomas Lawrence described the work in a letter to his successor David Wilkie as “the true philosophy of the art”. More recently, it has been described as “Velázquez’s supreme achievement, a highly self-conscious, calculated demonstration of what painting could achieve, and perhaps the most searching comment ever made on the possibilities of the easel painting”.
About the Soundtrack
Artemis Fowl is a 2020 American science fantasyadventure film based on the 2001 novel of the same name by Irish author Eoin Colfer. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, it is from a screenplay co-written by Conor McPherson and Hamish McColl. The film stars Ferdia Shaw, Lara McDonnell, Josh Gad, Tamara Smart, Nonso Anozie, Colin Farrell, and Judi Dench. It details the adventures of Artemis Fowl II, a 12-year-old Irish prodigy who teams up with his faithful servant, as well as a dwarf and a fairy, in order to rescue his father, Artemis Fowl I, who has been kidnapped by another fairy looking to reclaim an item the Fowl family has stolen.
Patrick Doyle (born 6 April 1953) is a Scottish film composer. A longtime collaborator of actor-director Kenneth Branagh, Doyle is known for his work composing for films such as Henry V, Sense and Sensibility, Hamlet, Carlito’s Way, and Gosford Park, as well as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Thor, Brave, Cinderella, and Murder On The Orient Express. Doyle has been nominated for two Academy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards, and is the recipient of the ASCAP Henry Mancini Award for “outstanding achievements and contributions to the world of film and television music”.