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

Mercury and Argus

c. 1659
Oil on canvas, 127 x 248 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

Since the publication in 1925 of the contents of Velázquez's private library, which contained 156 learned works, it has been obvious that he did have an extensive fund of knowledge. His references to classical mythology, for instance in the painting Mercury and Argus of around 1659, should be viewed in this light.