The Man and his Mythological Paintings at the Prado



This book looks at the man Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (baptised 6 June 1599 - 6 August 1660), his influences, travels and abilities. The pages explore his artistic genius and humanistic philosophies that developed and matured as he met with the most impressive and talented scholars, playwrights and artistic geniuses of his time.
Each of his mythological paintings, which form a unique collection in Madrid's phenomenal Prado Museum of Fine Arts, receives a descriptive analysis by examining their compositions, the stories they depict and the details that often remain unexplained.
Karla also gives her own interpretations of Velázquez's mythological paintings, based on particular surprises she has come across over the years as an art historian.

  • The Feast of Bacchus 18
  • Vulcan's Forge 22
  • A Sybil 27
  • Mars 30
  • Aesop 33
  • Menippus 39
  • The Spinners and the Fable of Arachné 42
  • Mercury and Argus 49


"What a wonderful read, absolutely captivating and so much information written in a fabulously simple style. I just could not put the book down and feel the need to read it again.

I love facts and history and really enjoy learning. Honestly, I found the whole life and adventures of Velázquez extremely interesting. What a fascinating man and such a wonderful artist.

I love Karla's detailed explanations, the meanings of the paintings and her interpretations.

I also love her first person style. For example, on page 26, when talking about St Bartholomew in Michelangelo's Last Judgement (1612, Sistine Chapel), she says: "If I look closely at the rectangular stone in the lower left corner of Velázquez's painting, a face appears." This makes the book very special, as if I were there looking at the painting and thinking about whose face it is. It's fun to speculate too.

Honestly, I loved this book. It is so beautifully written and full of information that I really feel like I know and understand Velázquez and his paintings now!"

- D. Santiago - Jávea

"Love that you go deeper than just a description of the paintings. Very comprehensive." 

- Marilyn xx