Velazquez’ Las Meninas: Contemplating reinterpretations

Although I started this blog with the posting about Christine de Pizan and her mirrors, it wasn’t, in fact, the first one from my ‘mirror series’. It is difficult even to say what was the ‘first’ posting, the traces of this mirrors-in-art sage could be found way back in the ‘depth’, both of my memory and also of my blog writings (which had been initially written in my livejournal).

This particular story was written in June 2010, and wasn’t even the story so far, but a mere compilation of multiple remakes and re-interpretations of the famous painting by Diego Velázquez, Las Meninas (1656, currently in Prado Museum in Madrid.)

At that moment I wasn’t even much interested in the painting itself, I knew a few basic facts about this artwork, but not too much. What I was struck by is a large amount of various remakes, and not only recent digital revisions (that are easy to do with a photoshop), but the real paintings and drawings, reinterpreting the work by Velázquez in all sort of ways.

I didn’t have any deep thoughts, neither about this phenomena in general, not about specific projects with Las Meninas, I just collected a whole bunch of them and compiled a deck of slides (you could still find it online, on SlideShare (click on the picture above).

Only a bit later, when browsing through this collection again and again, I start realizing that it contains an interesting story, about difference in understanding of – basically, of everything in this painting  – in different times, and then specifically the differences in understanding and interpreting its famous ‘mirror’ (though I didn’t write any of these thoughts back then):

Neither I am not planning to write them now, I am putting this posting here more like a ‘digital ruin’, of the past efforts (and perhaps a still interesting collection, although I enlarged it greatly during the last few years, and the new edition of the ‘Contemplations’ is long time due.)


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