Diego Velázquez (1599-1660) was a prominent Spanish painter who produced some of the most iconic works of art in history. He is considered one of the leading artists of the Baroque period.

Early Life and Training

Velázquez was born in Seville, Spain, in 1599. He began his artistic training under Francisco Pacheco, a master painter who introduced him to classicism and naturalism. During his apprenticeship, Velázquez honed his skills in traditional subject matter such as still life and portraitures.

Madrid Court Painter

In 1623, Velázquez's talent caught the attention of King Philip IV's adviser, Gaspar de Guzmán, who recognized his potential and commissioned him to paint a portrait of King Philip IV himself. The king was so impressed with Velázquez that he appointed him court painter.

For the next few decades, Velázquez dedicated himself to creating some of his most famous paintings including "Las Meninas", which depicted King Philip IV's family members and has since become one of Spain's most celebrated artworks.

Influence on Art History

Velázques outside-in approach to painting has made an indelible impact on Western painting since he used realism not just for its own sake but as part of creating highly vivid images that came close to photographic depictions.

Many modern-day artists continue to draw inspiration from the work and techniques of Diego Velazquez – particularly when it comes human form representation– making him an integral figure in art history overall.

Conclusion

Diego Velázquez’s contribution towards art cannot be overstated - Attesting him oneof those greats whose work has surpassed time itself.A true masterful artist indeed!