(b. 1824, Alcalé de Henares, d. 1870, Madrid)


Spanish painter. He was long known as Lucas Padilla, but research has shown that his real surname was Lucas Velázquez. He came late to painting, in 1844 still stating his profession as that of cabinetmaker. It is possible that he studied at the Academia de San Fernando in Madrid, but he may have been largely self-taught. His early work included portraits (e.g. Jenaro Peréz Villaamil, 1849; Madrid, Museo Romántico), scenes of the Spanish Inquisition and subjects from contemporary life (e.g. Scene with Bandits, 1855; Madrid, Museo Romántico).

By the mid-1850s he was well established: in 1853 he was appointed Pintor de Cámara Honorario to Queen Isabella II, and he was made a Knight of the Order of Carlos III as a reward for his idealized portrait of Pedro de Valdivia, which the Spanish government gave as a present to the cathedral of Santiago de Chile (in situ). Lucas Velázquez showed his work successfully at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1855, and in the same year he was one of three connoisseurs asked to value Francisco de Goya's Pinturas Negras (1820-23; Madrid, Prado), then still in the Quinta del Sordo, Goya's country house near Madrid.

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