The itinerary <em>TITULORECORRIDO</em> has been successfully created. Now you can add in works from the Collection browser
<em>TITULOOBRA</em> added to <em>TITULORECORRIDO</em> itinerary

View of the Gardens of the Villa Medici, Rome
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Close Continuar a ficha de la obra

Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

Sevilla (Spain), 1599 - Madrid (Spain), 1660

Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y See author's file

View of the Gardens of the Villa Medici, Rome

Ca. 1630. Oil on canvas.
Room 011

A masterpiece in the history of Western landscape painting, in which Velázquez set out his idea of landscape without any narrative excuse to justify it, this Roman scene and its companion work (P01211) are two of his most singular works. Both combine architecture, plant life and sculpture with living figures and integrate them into a landscaped setting in a very natural way. Critics have repeated tirelessly that light and air are also the protagonists of these canvases, and for several centuries, they have also insisted on how these works seem to reflect an effort to capture a specific moment, that is, to describe particular atmospheric circumstances. This has led to the theory that these two works represent "evening" and "midday", thus anticipating Monet’s famous series on Rouen Cathedral by over two centuries. In both works, Velázquez uses a Palladian window -an architectural structure consisting of a central opening ending in a semicircular arch flanked by two lintelled openings- but one is open and the other, closed to form a wall.

These are faithful depictions of two places in the Villa Medicis, one of the most important palaces in Rome, and they have no identifiable narrative content, as the figures they contain seem to be moving around the gardens without participating in any particular event. In one case, what some consider a washerwoman seems to be hanging a sheet over a balustrade, while below, two men converse, possibly about the architecture before them. Beside them, a classical bust (possibly of Hermes) is visible amidst the hedge, and on the wall, a niche with a sculpture reminds us that this location’s prestige is partially due to its splendid collection of ancient statuary.

Besides their extremely high quality, two factors make these works singular among painting from their period. The first is the absence of a subject. In the 17th century, landscape became a relatively important genre, but the representation of nature on canvas was very rarely enough by itself, so there was generally an accompanying mythological or religious "story" to justify the work. Landscape alone was not considered worthy of depiction unless it was supplied with a narrative excuse, or presented an urban or monumental view. Yet here, Velázquez transmits a more direct view of nature, and this is reinforced by the second of the two factors that make these paintings so singular: while artists such as Claude Lorrain are know to have made summary notebook sketches from nature for their canvases, it was extremely rare for a painter to set up his canvas and painting tools in front of the subject of his work and paint it on the spot, as Velázquez did in both of the present works.

Also singular in these works is the type of impression of nature that they seek to transmit: this is not an unchanging, timeless view of part of a garden; instead, there seems to be a will to reflect the experience of a moment. Very little is known about these works. The first problem they pose is that of their very nature or function as painting. They were once thought to be a pair of sketches that the painter had made with the idea of using them in larger compositions. Now, however, the predominant idea is that they are finished, self-sufficient works.

There are discrepancies with regard to when these landscapes were painted. Clearly, they were made during one of Velázquez’s two visits to Rome, and that has been the basis for considering various possibilities. The information supporting an early date seems most consistent and is based on stylistic and documentary considerations. From a technical standpoint, we should mention that these works are painted over a brown primer similar to what Velázquez used during his first visit to Italy but abandoned upon returning to Madrid in 1631. Stylistically, these works are congruent with the landscape appearing in Joseph’s Tunic, which he painted during that trip (Monastery of El Escorial), or with the background of The Temptation of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Orihuela, Museo Diocesano). And as Milicua demonstrated, they are also related to landscapes similar to those by Agostino Tassi. The technical arguments that support dating these works from Velázquez’s first visit to Italy are based on the fact that he lived at the Villa Medici for two months at that time. They also draw on a document from 1634 in which proto-notary Jerónimo de Villanueva acquired four little landscapes from Velázquez for Philip IV. Proponents of the idea that they were painted during his second visit are based on the stylistic characteristics of these canvases, specifically their advanced style and the fact that during that period, the grotto to which the arch led was being repaired.

Whatever the case may be, these are two masterpieces in the history of Western landscape painting. They foreshadow some pictorial formulae from the 19th century, but their true value lies not in their role as precursors, but rather in their quality as artworks in which the artist expresses an original and highly personal concept of landscape (Text from Portús, J.: Velázquez. Guía, Museo del Prado, 1999, pp. 78-82; Portús, J.: Roma naturaleza e ideal. Paisajes de 1600-1650, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2011, p. 170).


Technical data

Inventory number
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
View of the Gardens of the Villa Medici, Rome
Ca. 1630
Height: 48.5 cm; Width: 43 cm
Royal Collection (New Royal Palace, Madrid, “pieza interior triangulada”, 1747, n. 478; Royal Palace of El Buen Retiro, Madrid, “cuarto del infante don Antonio”, 1772, n. 478; El Buen Retiro Palace, 1794, n. 710; Royal Palace, Madrid, “secretaría de Estado”, 1814-1818, n. 710)

Bibliography +

Inventario Real Palacio de Madrid 1734, VI, Madrid, 1734.

Inventario Real Palacio del Buen Retiro, Madrid, 1794.

Inventario de las Pinturas del Museo Hecho a la Muerte del Rey, Madrid, 1834, pp. 9.

Belgische Kunstdenkmäler, I, F.Bruckmann, 1862, pp. 128.

Cruzada Villaamil, Gregorio, Anales de la vida y de las obras de Diego de Silva Velazquez, Libreria de Miguel Guijarro, Madrid, 1885, pp. 334.

Lefort, Paul, Velázquez, Librairie de L'Art, Paris, 1887, pp. 49.

Beruete, Aureliano de, Velázquez, Librairie Renouard, Henri Laurents, ed., París, 1898, pp. 50.

Faure, Élie, Velázquez: biographie critique, Henri Laurens, Paris, 1904, pp. 17.

Loga, Valerian von, Estudios Velazquistas, Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Excursiones, 22, 1914, pp. 253.

Loga, Valerian von, Die Malerei in Spanien: vom XIV. bis XVIII. Jahrhundert, G. Grote'sche verlagsBuchhandlung, Berlin, 1923, pp. 293.

Justi, Carl, Diego Velazquez Und Sein Jahrhundert. Vol. I, Verlag Friedrich Cohen, Bonn, 1923, pp. 312.

Noul, M., Sotomayor, F., Muguruza, P., Les chefs-d'oeuvre du Musée du Prado, Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, Ginebra, 1939, pp. 27.

Lozoya, Juan de Contreras y López de Ayala, Marqués de, Historia del arte hispánico, Salvat, Barcelona, 1945, pp. 104.

Stanley Riggs, Arthur, Velázquez. Pintor de la verdad y prisionero del rey, Peuser, Buenos Aires, 1950, pp. 166.

Encina, Juan de la, Sombra y enigma de Velázquez, Espasa-Calpe Argentina, Buenos Aires, 1952, pp. 160.

Justi, Carl, Velázquez y su siglo, Espasa-Calpe, Madrid, 1953, pp. 287.

Pantorba, Bernardino de, La vida y la obra de Velázquez: estudio biográfico y crítico, Compañía Bibliográfica Española, Madrid, 1955, pp. 184.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, H. O. Havemeyer Collection. Catalogue of Paintings, Prints, Sculpture and Objects of Art, Privately Printed, Berlin-Munich, 1957, pp. 66.

Camón Aznar, José, El Impresionismo en Velázquez, Goya: Revista de Arte, 37/38, 1960, pp. 147.

Proteccion del Patrimonio Artistico Nacional, Direccion General de Bellas Artes, Madrid, 1960, pp. lám.49.

Camón Aznar, José, Temas de Velázquez, Goya: Revista de Arte, 36, 1960, pp. 345.

Varia velazqueña: homenaje a Velázquez en el III centenario, Ministerio de Educación Nacional, Dirección Genera, Madrid, 1960, pp. 257.

Varia velazqueña: homenaje a Velázquez en el III centenario, Ministerio de Educación Nacional, Dirección Genera, Madrid, 1960, pp. 264.

Bonet Correa, Antonio, Velázquez y los jardines, Goya: Revista de Arte, 37/38, 1960, pp. 120-129.

Puente, Joaquín de la, El Realismo y Velázquez, Arte Español / Revista Española de Arte, 24, 1962, pp. 37.

Camón Aznar, José, Tercer centenario de Velázquez: estudios velazqueños, Universidad, Barcelona, 1962, pp. lám.77-a.

Bonet Correa, A., 'Velázquez y los jardines' en Velázquez, son temps, son influence. Actes du Colloque, Arts et Metiers Graphiques, Paris, 1963, pp. 130.

López Rey, José, Velázquez: a catalogue raisonné of his oeuvre, Faber and Faber, Londres, 1963, pp. 176,177/ lám.64.

Tüngel, Richard, 400 Jahre Kunst, Kultur, und Geschichte im Prado, Schweizer Verlagshaus, Zurich, 1964, pp. 166/ lám.79.

Camón Aznar, José, Velázquez, Espasa-Calpe, Madrid, 1964, pp. 409.

Barnard, A., Gabriel Metsu, Stedelijk Museum, Leiden, 1966.

Vries, A. B. de, In the Light of Vermeer. Five Centuries of Paintings, FrenchNetherlands Cultural Conv., La Haya, 1966, pp. nº 15.

Bottineau, Yves, Tout L'Oeuvre Peint de Velázquez, Flammarion, Paris, 1969, pp. nº 102.

Asturias, Miguel Angel, La obra pictórica completa de Velázquez, Noguer, Barcelona. Madrid, 1970, pp. nº 102.

Fahy, Everett, A history of the portrait and its painter, THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART BULLETIN, 1971, pp. 469.

Salas, Xavier de, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

Gudiol, José1904-1985, Velázquez: 1599-1660, historia de su vida, catálogo de su ob, Ediciones Polígrafa, Barcelona, 1973, pp. nº 62.

Millner Kahr, Madlyn, Velázquez. The art of painting, Nueva York, 1976, pp. 70.

Salerno, Luigi, Pittori di paesaggio del Seicento a Roma, Ugo Bozzi, Roma, 1977, pp. 59.

Chiericati, C., Velázquez, Editorial Marin, Barcelona, 1979, pp. 62.

Díez del Corral, Luis, Velázquez, la Monarquía e Italia, Boreal, 15, Espasa-Calpe, Madrid, 1979, pp. 274.

López Rey, José, Velázquez. The Artist As a Maker, Bibliotheque des Arts, Lausanne-Paris, 1979, pp. 300,301/ lám.120.

Sérullaz, Maurice, Velázquez, Harry N. Abrams, Nueva York, 1981, pp. 134/ lám.36.

Harris, Enriqueta, Velázquez and the Villa Medici, The Burlington Magazine, 123 (942), 1981, pp. 537-541.

Sullivan, Edward J., Painting in Spain. 1650-1700. A Symposium, The Princeton University, Princeton, 1982.

Harris, Enriqueta, Velázquez, Phaidon, Oxford, 1982, pp. 145/ lám.144.

López Rey, José, Velázquez, Compañía Internacional Editora, Barcelona, 1984, pp. 63.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 744.

Steingraber, Erich, Zweitausend Jahre Europaische Landschaftsmalerei, Hirmer Verlag, Munich, 1985, pp. 190/ lám.96.

Brown, Jonathan, Velázquez: pintor y cortesano, Alianza Editorial, Madrid, 1986, pp. 204/ lám.238.

Beruete, Aureliano de, Velázquez, CEPSA, Madrid, 1987, pp. 33/ lám.18.

Sérullaz, Maurice, Velázquez, Harry N. Abrams. Inc, Nueva York, 1987, pp. 104/ lám.29.

Lafuente Ferrari, Enrique, Velázquez, Albert Skira, Ginebra, 1988, pp. 79.

Anatra, Bruno, Venezia e la Spagna, Electa, Milan, 1988, pp. 180.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Velázquez, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Nueva York, 1989, pp. 120.

Doce artistas de vanguardia en el Museo del Prado:Saura, Bar, Mondadori, Madrid, 1990, pp. 74.

Brown, Jonathan, La Edad de Oro de la pintura en España, Nerea, Madrid, 1990, pp. 219/ lám.203.

Velázquez, Ministerio de Cultura, Madrid, 1990, pp. 374-378.

Harris, Enriqueta, Velázquez, Ephialte, Vitoria, 1991, pp. 145/ lám.144.

Garrido Pérez, Carmen, Velázquez: técnica y evolución, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1992, pp. 205-208.

Mckim-Smith, Gridley, Ciencia e historia del arte: Velazquez en el Prado, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1993, pp. 95/ lám.71.

Buendía, José Rogelio, El Prado. Colecciones de Pintura, Lunwerg Editores, Barcelona, 1994, pp. 108.

López Rey, José, Velázquez. Le Peintre des Peintres, Benedikt Taschen, Köln, 1996, pp. 112.

Marini, Maurizio, Velázquez, Sociedad Editorial Electa, Madrid, 1997, pp. 101.

Brown, Jonathan, Painting in Spain 1500-1700, Yale University Press, Yale, 1998, pp. 119/ lám.153.

López-Rey, José, Velázquez, el pintor de los pintores. La obra completa, Taschen Wildenstein Institute, Colonia, 1998, pp. 73.

Brown, Jonathan, Velázquez. La Técnica del genio, Ediciones Encuentro, 1998, pp. 57-61.

Velázquez, Galaxia Gutenberg Círculo de Lectores, Barcelona, 1999, pp. 197.

Alcolea Gil, Santiago, Velázquez. La esencia del tiempo, Círculo de Lectores, Barcelona, 1999, pp. 190.

Marías, Fernando, Velázquez. Pintor y criado del rey, Nerea, Madrid, 1999, pp. 186/ lám.141.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Velázquez: guía, Museo del Prado Aldeasa, Madrid, 1999, pp. 78.

Velazquez, Leonardo Arte, Milano, 2001, pp. 170.

Salort Pons, Salvador, Velázquez en Italia, Fundación de Apoyo a la Historia del Arte Hispánico, Madrid, 2002, pp. 51, 288.

Portús Pérez, Javier, La colección de pintura española en el Museo del Prado, Edilupa, Madrid, 2003, pp. 121.

López Fanjul, M. Pérez Preciado, J. J., Los números y marcas de colección en los cuadros del Museo del Prado, Boletín del Museo del Prado, XXIII, 2005, pp. 84-110.

Enciclopedia del Museo del Prado, VI, T.F. Editores: Fundación Amigos, Madrid, 2006, pp. 2200.

Harris, Enriqueta, Estudios completos sobre Velázquez = Complete studies on Vel..., Centro de Estudios Europa Hispáni, Madrid, 2006, pp. 155-161;167-177.

De Tiziano a Goya: grandes maestros del Museo del Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado: SEACEX, Madrid, 2007, pp. 223.

Reyero, C., Los Velázquez del Prado en América. Crónica de una exposición de copias en 1925., Boletín del Museo del Prado, 44, 2008, pp. 73-86.

Checa Cremades, Fernando, Velázquez: obra completa, Electa, Barcelona, 2008, pp. 108.

Deja en mis ojos su mirada : homenajes en la pintura de Ramó..., Fundación Cajamurcia, 2010, pp. 107.

Morán Turina, José Miguel, La memoria de las piedras : anticuarios, arqueólogos y colec..., Centro de Estudios Europa Hispáni, 2010, pp. 47.

Doval Trueba, M, Sobre dos viajes a Italia: el de Maria de Hungría y el primero de Velázquez, Boletin del Museo e Instituto Camón Aznar, 105, 2010, pp. 69-95.

Moser, Wolf, Diego de Silva Velázquez. Das werk und der maler, I, Saint-Georges, Lyon, 2011, pp. 235.

Martínez Leiva, Gloria; Rodríguez Rebollo, Angel, La Última Cena de Cristo: Velázquez copiando a Tintoretto, Archivo español de arte, 336 (Oct-Dic), 2011, pp. 313-335.

Sureda Pons, Joan, 'Los paisajes de la villa Médici de Velázquez o la visión de lo natural' En: Cartografías visuales y arquitectónicas de la modernidad., Publicacions i Edicions., Barcelona, 2011, pp. 29-46.

Roma naturaleza e ideal: paisajes 1600-1650, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2011, pp. 170.

Cruz Valdovinos, José Manuel, Velázquez: vida y obra de un pintor cortesano, Caja Inmaculada, 2011, pp. 117-119.

Portús Pérez, Javier, Velázquez 'Vista del jardín de la Villa Médici, en Roma'. En: Guía de la colección. Velázquez, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2012, pp. 23.

Maurer, G., Goya: lo bello y lo recóndito. En: La belleza encerrada: de Fra Angelico a Fortuny, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2013, pp. 249.

Mena Marqués, M.; Albarrán, V., La belleza encerrada: de Fra Angelico a Fortuny, folleto, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2013, pp. 30 n.120-n.121.

López-Rey, José The Wildenstein Institute, 'Diego Velázquez.Villa Medici in Rome (Two men at the entrance of a cave)' En: Velázquez. The complete works, Taschen, Colonia, 2014, pp. 349 n.44.

Mena Marqués, M.; Albarrán, V., Azúa, F. de, La belleza cautiva. Pequeños tesoros del Museo del Prado, Museo del Prado - Obra Social ''La Caixa'', Barcelona, 2014, pp. 131.

Kientz, G.K, 'D. Rodríguez de Silva Velázquez. Allegorie féminine. Meadows Museum' En:, Velázquez, Réunion des musées nationaux-Grand Palais: Louvre..., Paris, 2015, pp. 184 f.34.

Martínez Leiva, Gloria; Rodríguez Rebollo, Ángel, El inventario del Alcázar de Madrid de 1666. Felipe IV y su colección artística, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, 2015, pp. 470 nº 662.

Il fascino e il mito dell'Italia: dal Cinquecento al Contemporaneo., Skira, 2015, pp. 40-41 f.2.

Portús Pérez, Javier, La Fragua y Alberti, o lo que Velázquez debe al clasicismo, Círculo de Lectores - Fundación Amigos Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2015, pp. 149-166 [156].

Prado captive beauty: treasures from the Prado Museum, Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, 2015, pp. n.46.

Kientz, Guillaume, Velázquez. L'Affrontement de la peinture, Cohen & Cohen, Paris, 2015, pp. 142-143.

Alvarez Garcillán, M. García Máiquez, J., 'Velázquez, Murillo y la aristocracia del arte' En:, Velázquez, Murillo, Sevilla, Fundación Fondo de Cultura de Sevilla (Focus), 2016, pp. 61-76 [66 f.36].

López-Rey, José, Velázquez: la obra completa, Taschen, 2020, pp. 349 nº44.

Cherry, Peter, 'Velázquez y la composición de sus mejores obras' En:, Velázquez, el arte nuevo., Madrid, 2021, pp. 310-319 [311].

Other inventories +

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 101.
Velazquez / 101. Boceto de jardin con parte de arquitectura. / Alto 1 pie, 7 pulg; ancho 1 pie, 5 pulg.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 1106.
1106.-Vista tomada en el jardín de la Villa-Medici, en Roma. / Alto 0,44. Ancho 0,40.-Lienzo. / Cosntrucción con un arco sostenido en columnas jónicas y decorada con pilastras y hornacinas. En la parte superior se ve un terrado con corpulentos cipreses. / Velázquez en su primer viaje á Roma, en 1630, residió unos dos meses durante la temporada de verano en aquella famosa villa, propiedad á la sazon de los Duques de Florencia; y es de creer que allí mismo ejecutase este lindo boceto y su compañero del número siguiente. De no hacerlos allí, los pintaria después en Madrid por los cróquis...

Inv. Felipe V, Palacio Nuevo, 1747. Núm. 478.
PINTURAS EXISTENTES ANTIGUAS [...] Pieza interior triangulada [...] {10500} 478 / Otro [lienzo] de vna ruina con algunos arboles de media varaen quadro original de Velazquez ciento y cinquenta reales.

Inv. Carlos III, Buen Retiro, 1772. Núm. 478.
Quarto del Infante Don Antonio [...] {14581-14582} 209-478 / Dos [pinturas] iguales que contienen dos sitios o entradas de jardines de Roma de media vara en quadro originales de Velazquez

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, Buen Retiro, 1794. Núm. 710.
{3073} 710 / Otra [pintura] de Juan Bautista del Mazo, Una Perspectiva de Galeria y Jardin, de media vara en quadro, marco dorado ... 200

Inv. Fernando VII, Palacio Nuevo, 1814-1818. Núm. 710.
Secretaría de Estado [...] {22214-22215} 710-713 / media vara en quadro - entrada de vn jardin con dos figuras = especie de cenador con tres figuras - escuela de Velázquez

Inscriptions +

101. [parcialmente superpuesta a la misma numeración de color negro]
Inscribed in red color. Front, lower left corner

Inscribed in black. Front, lower left corner

101. [parcialmente oculta por la misma numeración repintada en rojo]
Inscribed in gray. Front, lower left corner

[478] [muy borrada]
Inscribed in red color. Front, lower left corner

Exhibitions +

06.06.2020 - 25.07.2021

Rembrandt-Velázquez [España-Holanda]
11.10.2019 - 19.01.2020

Velázquez, Rembrandt, Vermeer. Parallel visions
25.06.2019 - 29.09.2019

Captive Beauty. Treasures from The Prado Museum
10.10.2015 - 31.01.2016

Captive Beauty. Small Treasures at the Prado Museum
16.07.2014 - 05.01.2015

Captive Beauty. Fra Angelico to Fortuny
21.05.2013 - 10.11.2013

Rome: Nature and the Ideal. Landscapes 1600-1650
05.07.2011 - 25.09.2011

Nature et idéal. Le paysage à Rome 1600-1650 - Landscape
08.03.2011 - 06.06.2011

From Titian to Goya. Great Masters from the Museo del Prado
13.09.2007 - 12.11.2007

From Titian to Goya. Great Masters from the Museo del Prado
29.06.2007 - 24.08.2007

Velazquez. Su tercer viaje a Italia
28.03.2001 - 30.06.2001

23.01.1990 - 31.03.1990

Nueva York NY
28.09.1989 - 07.01.1990

Cinco Siglos de Arte Español
05.10.1987 - 05.01.1988

Location +

Room 011 (On Display)

Update date: 09-04-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

Other works by Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

Prado Shop

Print on demand

Print artworks available in our catalogue in high quality and your preferred size and finish.

Image archive

Request artworks available in our catalogue in digital format.