GONZÁLEZ VELÁZQUEZ, Antonio
(b. 1723, Madrid, d. 1794, Madrid)

Biography

Painter, member of a Spanish family of artists. Pablo González Velázquez (1664-1727) was an Andalusian sculptor who worked in the Baroque style and in 1702 settled in Madrid, where his three sons were born. There were numerous collaborations between the sons. Luis González Velázquez and Alejandro González Velázquez worked together in Madrid on the chapel of S Teresa (1737-39) in the church of S José, the church of the convent of El Sacramento, the church of El Salvador and the church of the Carmelitas Descalzas; in La Puebla de Montalbán, near Toledo, they worked together on the Ermita de la Virgen de la Soledad (1741-42), for which they executed the main altarpiece and pendentive paintings of Esther, Judith, Rachel and Abigail. The two also often undertook stage designs for the theatre in the Palacio del Buen Retiro in Madrid. They collaborated with their younger brother Antonio González Velázquez on the decoration of the church of the convent of La Visitación (now S Bárbara) in Madrid in 1757-58, the church of La Encarnación, the church of the Descalzas Reales, the church of the Salesas Reales (where they completed projects begun by Corrado Giaquinto, painting scenes from the Life of the Virgin and Allegories of the Virtues in fresco on the dome), the churches of S Isabel and S Ana and the church of SS Justo y Pastor, Madrid. Antonio was the father of Zacarías González Velázquez, the architect Isidro González Velázquez, and Castor González Velázquez.

Antonio González Velázquez was a painter. After training in Madrid at the drawing school of the preparatory committee of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, in 1746 he obtained a grant from the committee to study in Rome, where he stayed until 1752, in the workshop of Corrado Giaquinto. In 1748 he executed decorative works for Santa Trinità degli Spagnoli, Rome, painting canvases of the Good Shepherd, Pope Innocent III Giving Habits to the First Trinitarians and St John of Matha Visiting St Felix of Valois for the church walls, and frescoing scenes from the Life of Abraham on the dome and Moses and three other prophets on the pendentives. Attribution of this work has been questioned, but both the documentation and the technique confirm that it was the work of Antonio and not of Goya, as has been suggested. The magnificent decoration of the vault shows the influence of Giaquinto, which was decisive in Antonio's development.