Diego Velázquez was the most admired and greatest European painter who ever lived. He possessed a miraculous gift for conveying a sense of truth and humanity in his realistic works. 
* 10:30am
* Darocas Studio Benitachell
* 10euros entry fee.

His patron was Philip IV of Spain and Portugal. Aside from being Philips royal court painter, Diego served his King through a range of responsibilities from wardrobe assistant to superintendent of palace works.

Philip IV was a Habsburg and his family-based empire dominated Europe politically and militarily for much of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

By the time Philip became King in 1621, the Habsburg empire was in recession fueled by bad debts due to poor economic advice and judgement as well as illnesses and deaths due to royal family inbreeding. 

Philip added to the decline by overspending on luxury items and racking up debt on excessive displays of decadence. His further contributed to the degeneration was his inability to achieve successful domestic and military reform.

On the eve of his death in 1665, the Spanish Empire had reached approximately 12.2 million square kilometers (4.7 million square miles) in area but it was in shambles, emotionally decayed and socially rotten.


"We learnt about Diego Velazquez and how his work progressed and developed during his lifetime.
We also learnt how his work was influenced by the politics, religion and culture of the time.
In addition, Karla incorporated a complete history of the reign of Philip IV, the rise and fall of the Hapsburgs in Spain.
We both like Karla's teaching style of delivery. She is very matter-of-fact and tells it like it is with a bit of humour thrown in.
We would definitely encourage others to attend her presentations and other events."

*Gladys and Ian Cummings. Javea and UK

"I attended with curiosity, having moved recently to Spain and wishing to learn more about this fascinating new country. What I learned was an amazing story of the Baroque period, the monarchy and the life of an amazing painter. I simply can't wait to see Velazquez's paintings at the Prado in Madrid and am plotting a trip to see them very soon. Karla's teaching style is down to earth and she brings the characters to life!"

 * Sue Bell, Benissa

 "Before this presentation Velazquez was just an artist and a name. Karla brought him to life with her infectious enthusiasm, creating a passion within me to discover more. I cannot wait to visit the Prado again and immerse myself absorbing his works with my new found knowledge. I have learnt so much and am hungry for more."

 *Sue Martin, Pedreguer