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During the life of the artist Diego Velazquez, the Spanish Inquisition had a great influence not only on the lives and customs of people, but also on their work. In those days, nudity was strictly prohibited.
An artist who painted a portrait of a naked man could be sent into exile, deprived of church protection, and his picture burned or repainted. Like many other creative people, Velazquez did not adhere to the strict framework established by the authorities, and created his only creation of this kind, “Venus in Front of a Mirror”.
In ancient mythology, the goddess Venus personified the symbol of love, as well as the sublime and beautiful beauty of a woman. On this canvas she is depicted reclining on thin flowing bedspreads. She turned her back to the audience, her knees bent. In ancient times, Venus was often portrayed in this perspective. The artist concentrated his attention on those who looked at the beauty of the female body, deliberately avoiding the luxuries of drapery and excluding jewelry such as flowers and jewelry.
The second character in the picture is Cupid, the son of a goddess. Instead of a bow with an arrow, with which, as usual, it is depicted, the child supports a mirror deployed to his mother. In reflection, you can see the fuzzy facial features of Wiener, meet her eyes with her eyes. Velazquez deliberately depicts her reflection as irregular, larger than it should be.
The folds on the sheets follow the contours of the figure of the Roman goddess. Thus, the artist emphasizes her softness and splendor of forms. The main colors of the background composition are quite simple - it is white, red and gray, but critics liked this gamut.
Constrained by church dogmas, Velazquez could not put his picture on public display. Therefore, for a long time she was seen only in narrow circles. It was only in the 19th century that it was transported to England, and to this day it is stored in the National Gallery of London.
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