13 Bronze Figures Reinterpreted from Velázquez’s ‘Las Meninas’ Line Up in a Central Venice Plaza



Art

#art history
#installation
#Manolo Valdés
#public art
#sculpture

April 18, 2024

Grace Ebert

‘Las Meninas a San Marco’ (2024). All images courtesy of Contini Art Gallery, shared with permission

Thirteen bronze women in wide pannier skirts stand single file in St. Mark’s Square in central Venice. The large-scale installation is the work of Spanish artist Manolo Valdés and on view for the 60th Venice Biennale that opened earlier this month.

Known for recontextualizing the iconic figures, colors, and textures throughout Western art history, Valdés once again pulls from well-known source material for Las Meninas a San Marco as he reinterprets the subjects of Diego Velázquez’s 1656 painting “Las Meninas,” or “The Ladies-in-waiting.” Led by the monumental “Infanta Margarita” who stands at the center of the original painting, the trailing figures are “Reina Mariana,” a nod to the infanta’s mother framed in a portrait in the background of Velzázquez’s work.

Las Meninas a San Marco has come under fire from Italia Nostra-Venezia, an organization that opposes galleries paying for public spaces to stage artworks and what it calls the “‘biennalization’ of the city.”

The project will be on view through June 15, when one of the “Reina Mariana” sculptures will be donated to the city.

 

a detail of dark bronze sculpture of a female figure in a public square

a series of dark bronze sculptures of female figures lined up in a public square

a detail of a dark bronze sculpture of a female figure in a public square

a series of dark bronze sculptures of female figures lined up in a public square

a series of dark bronze sculptures of female figures lined up in a public square

#art history
#installation
#Manolo Valdés
#public art
#sculpture

 

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