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Boston's Best: “Luis de Góngora y Argote,” by Diego Velazquez

Updated: Jul 26, 2020

This portrait, “Luis de Góngora y Argote,” by Diego Velazquez is the first in a series of posts that will feature what I consider the 50 best/most important/most interesting paintings in Boston-area museums.

Although small (19 3/4 x 16 inches), and not among Velazquez’s best-known works, it might be one of his most significant. According to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where the painting hangs, “this portrait may well have led to [Velazquez’s] first royal commission and swift appointment as a court painter.” So, without this arresting depiction of a seemingly bitter and disapproving Gongora, there might be no “Las Meninas,” portraits of Philip IV and members of his court, or so many other paintings that greatly influenced Edouard Manet and countless other artists.


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