The Supper at Emmaus

Velázquez (Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez) Spanish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 624

Sculptural forms and opaque, planar layers of paint characterize Velázquez’s early work, executed in his native city of Seville and immediately after his arrival in Madrid in 1623. During this period, Velázquez frequently painted models with rustic, unidealized features, following the innovations of the Italian painter Caravaggio, whose tightly structured, half-length narrative subjects might also have given inspiration to this composition. According to the Bible, after Christ’s resurrection he was recognized by two disciples: this subject provided Velázquez an opportunity to explore contrasts in reactions through gesture, expression, and dramatic lighting. He also made a point of showing off his skill at still life, particularly in the carefully observed tablecloth.

The Supper at Emmaus, Velázquez (Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez) (Spanish, Seville 1599–1660 Madrid), Oil on canvas

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