Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez or lovingly known as plain Velázquez, (1599 – 1660) was a Spanish painter, the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV, and one of the most important painters of the Spanish Golden Age.
Being in the Kings court, he painted countless portraits of the elite in the court’s family but he painted many huge paintings of historical depictions too.
There has been only one self-portrait found painted by him and he is included with the children of the Queen in Las Meninas.
…to my knowledge, Valazquez left only one self-portrait,”, said the King. “That is part of his wonderful picture, Las Meninas in which, by using mirrors, he made portraits of my Queen and my children and myself.
Valazquez was knighted in 1658 by King Philip IV, yet it is known that the Cross of Santiago was painted on the bosom of the artist’s self-portrait by some other hand after the painter’s death. That is still a mystery.
Had it not been for his royal appointment, Velázquez would not have been able to escape the censorship of the Inquisition,