VELÁZQUEZ, Diego Rodriguez de Silva y
(b. 1599, Sevilla, d. 1660, Madrid)

St Ildefonso Receiving the Chasuble from the Virgin

c. 1620
Oil on canvas, 166 x 120 cm
Museo de Bellas Artes, Seville

Velázquez took up ideas from earlier models that struck him as important and worth studying. In religious compositions such as the painting St Ildefonso Receiving the Chasuble from the Virgin, the spiritual ascetics portrayed by El Greco may well have been such models. With remarkable self-confidence, however, Velázquez always transformed the ideas he adopted into his own inimitable style. Its increasing artistic delicacy, his sure touch in exploring the depths of his subject, and a fine sense of composition show the presence of genius beneath the surface of the young artist still learning his craft.