Study After Velasquez

Title: Study After Velasquez

Artist: Edward Hopper

Dimensions: 4 1/4" x 4 1/4" (13 1/2" x 13 1/4", framed)

Medium: Pen and ink on paper



It is not surprising that the art of Velasquez was one source of inspiration for Hopper’s brand of uncompromising realism. Art school training of the time stressed the importance of copying old masters and this 1650 masterpiece held a particular fascination for Hopper. Hopper achieved a heightened dramatization of Pope Innocent X in both visual and emotional terms by isolating the head and framing it with vivid dark hatch marks. At the same time Hopper retained Velasquez’s achievement of revealing the private character of the man as well as the papal splendor of the office. Hopper centers in on the head and collar, eliminating the rest of the Velasquez half-length portrait. In 1965 the British painter, Francis Bacon, completed more than 40 studies on the Velasquez subject, but his concern was with the dynamics of the figure rather than the character of the face. RPM