Diego Rodrigo de Silva y Velázquez
* 1599 Sevilla
† 1660 Madrid
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was born in Seville, Andalusia, before 6 June, 1599. His father was a lawyer of Portuguese origin, his mother was a member of the lower nobility. Shortly before his 10th birthday Velázquez started to be trained by the painter Francisco Herrera. In 1618 he married to Juana Pacheco before going to Madrid in April 1622. Velázquez began to work as court painter for the Spanish king on 6 October, 1623. Soon after, in 1624, he received a studio in the royal castle. In 1629 Philip IV. granted him paid leave and helped him to make a trip to Italy. In 1634/1635 Velázquez created a number of paintings for the great state room in the new royal palace Buen Retiro in Madrid. Velázquez went to Italy for the second time in late 1648. The king had assigned him to buy artworks that should be used as examples in an art academy which was set to be built in Madrid. Finally the stressful work at the royal court affected his physical health. Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez died in Madrid on 6 August, 1660.