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Velazquez Exposition - © Didier Plowy


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Why you will love it?

If you were to mention just one master of Spanish classic painting, it would be Diego Velázquez. For the first time in France, an exhibition has been dedicated to this painter who acquired a large number of titles: official painter of King Philippe IV of Spain, official in charge of the king’s buildings, and curator of the royal collections. Through Velázquez’s paintings and a few works by his contemporaries, the Grand Palais offers a unique and grandiose exhibition that highlights the genius of the Spanish artist. Enjoy! Parisianist

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About this place

Grand Palais, 3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower, 75008 Paris
Line 1/13 - Champs-Elysées Clémenceau

Sunday : 10:00 am - 20:00 pm
more less
Monday : 10:00 am - 20:00 pm Tuesday : Closed Wednesday : 10:00 am - 22:00 pm Thursday : 10:00 am - 22:00 pm Friday : 10:00 am - 22:00 pm Saturday : 10:00 am - 22:00 pm Sunday : 10:00 am - 20:00 pm

Our Insiders' Article


Exhibitions that bring together this many masterpieces from such broad horizons are rare. But when it comes to Velázquez (1599-1660), a not-so-prolific painter, you bring in the big guns. For the first time in France, the Grand Palais is putting on an exhibition that retraces the life of the artist through a large number of his masterpieces. A guaranteed good time if you are especially fond of Velázquez and portraits in general.

Part 1

Diego Velázquez was only 12 when he began painting in the studio of Francisco Pacheco, and some paintings from this time are displayed in the first room of the exhibition. Full of talent and ambition, the young 23-year old Sevillano journeyed to the royal court of Madrid and caught the attention of Philippe IV, King of Spain, with a portrait. Thus, he became the King’s painter in 1623. The paintings displayed on the floor above show Velázquez’s origins, his Caravaggisti influences as well as some portraits, including those of Baltasar Carlos, the new royal heir.

Part 2

Velázquez painted many different settings, from still life to religious scenes staged in front of various landscapes, but before and above all, he was a portraitist. The ground floor of the exhibition presents some of the biggest and most well-known portraits by Velázquez, one of which is Infanta Maragarita Teresa in a Blue Dress, a visual and technical masterpiece.  Between 1627 and 1651, the painter also became the custodian of the royal collections. During this time, he went to Italy to buy paintings in the name of the king of Spain. Some paintings dating from this period are shown, including the wonderful Portrait of Innocent X

Part 3

The exhibition draws to a close with post-Velázquez works. He didn’t have any real pupils besides Juan Bautista del Mayo, but the exhibition shows that Velázquez had a major influence on the style and works of many other artists in the history of Spanish art. Paintings by Del Mayo are mainly shown, but also other artists such as Carreño de Miranda are displayed at the end of the artistic journey of this exhibition.

Parisianist Fun Fact: The large missing piece of the exhibition is Las Meninas, the painting that forged the fame of Velázquez. The painting couldn’t be moved from the Prado Museum in Madrid, but its mysteries are addressed in an explanatory video. 


Velázquez is without a doubt a huge name in classical painting. His talent is unparalleled, even if you are compelled to compare him with other artists present in the exhibition. The exhibition mainly consists of portraits, however, and if you are not an enthusiast of this artistic genre, you might be turned off by the exhibition as a whole. Nevertheless, keep in mind that the exhibition is unique in that it contains works that are heavily coveted and admired. If anything, this should be ample justification for a visit to the exhibition, which is definitely cheaper than trying to make a trip to the Prado, the Louvre, and the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna in one day! 

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