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

Las Meninas (detail)

Oil on canvas
Museo del Prado, Madrid

The other maid of honour, Dona Isabel de Velasco stands behind the princess, and beside her we see the grotesquely misshapen female dwarf Mari-Bárbola and the male dwarf Nicolasico Pertusato; the latter, as Palomino points out, is placing his foot on the mastiff lying in front of the group to demonstrate the lethargic animal's good temper. Further back, almost swallowed up in the shadows, are a man described only as guardadamas - a guard or escort to the ladies - and the lady in waiting Doña Marcela de Ulloa. To the right of the mirror, on a flight of steps leading up to a doorway and a brightly lit adjoining room, stands Jose Nieto, the queen's palace marshal.