Everyone who is deeply interested in arts, especially painting knows there are many myths and never-to-be-learnt things surrounding Velázquez's famous Las Meninas - maybe this is the reason why artists and art teacher love to talk and think about it so much. The other reason, well, that is my great passion called Picasso.
This is the original painting that can be seen in Madrid's Prado. I am not going to tell you about the mirror problem, the aspect problem, the representation problem etc. I think this masterpiece is beautiful enough to be admired without knowing all that and I find it a bit uncanny as well - the couple in the mirror, the man standing on the stairs and the other figures but Infanta Margarita (the blonde little girl) is the most capturing of all. Experts, of course, care more about the aforementioned problems and the question "what is the painter painting?" than about the pure brilliance of the painting itself. Good for them.
This one is Pablo Picasso's version, from 1957 (in this year only he painted 58 Las Meninas pieces) and it is the property of Museu Picasso, Barcelona. I would say the man in the background is scarier than in the original but this Picasso is one of my favourites because of the colours and the figures and the style.
But when it comes to my most beloved version of Las Meninas(1973), I am in love with Richard Hamilton's Picasso's Las Meninas that is the mixture of the original and Picasso's interpretation. I was lucky enough to see it with my own eyes and if you happen to visit Tate Gallery in London, make sure you see this one, too. This etching on paper is one of the creations for Hommage á Picasso and what I like the most is that Hamilton made it more Picasso-ish: he changed Velázquez and put Picasso in front of the not-to-be-seen painting, the figures are more Picasso than Velázquez, too, not to mention the two Picassos hanging on the wall in the background (one of them is The three musicians, the other one I just can't recognize). Brilliant.
I was hesitating with this one but I decided to post it as well. Honestly, this photoraph by Joel Peter Witkin (1987) is a bit too much for me but the more I look at it the more I like it. Frankly speaking, it's the ultra modern Las Meninas and I prefer the previous versions but I do respect Mr. Witkin because of his creativity and fantasy.
Which one do you like the most?