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Portrait of Sebastián de Morra

Portrait of Sebastián de Morra
Velázquez – Bufón don Sebastián de Morra (Museo del Prado, c. 1645).jpg
ArtistDiego Velázquez
Yearc. 1645
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions106.5 cm × 81.5 cm (41.9 in × 32.1 in)
LocationMuseo del Prado, Madrid

The Portrait of Sebastián de Morra is a portrait by Diego Velázquez of Sebastián de Morra, a court dwarf and jester at the court of Philip IV of Spain. It was painted in around 1645 and is now in the Prado in Madrid.

Velázquez portrays his whole body, sitting on the ground, wearing a rich cloak and with his short legs pointing forward in an inelegant position reminiscent of a marionette. He looks directly at the viewer, motionless, making no hand gestures, leading one critic to suggest that the painting represents a denunciation of the court's treatment of de Morra and other dwarfs.[1] While Velázquez's naturalistic and charitable depictions of the invalids and dwarfs maintained by the court strongly suggests he, as court painter, felt some empathy with their situation, the painter's opinions are not known in any documented fashion.[2]

References

  1. ^ Andreas Prater, "The Baroque" in The masters of western painting, Taschen, 2005, page. 270, ISBN 3-8228-4744-5
  2. ^ For a representation of a court dwarf in Medici Court, see Niccolò Cassana.

External links

  • Velázquez , exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (fully available online as PDF), which contains material on this portrait (see index)