...since Diego Velázquez was born.
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (June 6, 1599 – August 6, 1660), commonly referred to as Diego Velázquez, was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV. He was an individualistic artist of the contemporary baroque period, important as a portrait artist. In addition to numerous renditions of scenes of historical and cultural significance, he painted scores of portraits of the Spanish royal family, other notable European figures, and commoners, culminating in the production of his masterpiece Las Meninas (1656).
The importance of Velázquez's art even today is evident in considering the respect with which twentieth century painters regard his work.
Pablo Picasso presented the most durable homagesto Velázquez in 1957 when he recreated Las Meninas in 58 variations, in his characteristically cubist form. Although Picasso was concerned that his reinterpretations of Velázquez's painting would be seen merely as copies rather than unique representations, the enormous works—including the largest he had produced since Guernica in 1937—earned a position of relevance in the Spanish canon of art. Picasso retained the general form and positioning of the original in the framework of his avant-garde cubist style.