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González Velázquez, Antonio

Madrid (Spain), 1723 - Madrid (Spain), 1794

He was a Spanish painter and brother of fellow painters Luis and Alejandro. He studied drawing at the Preparatory Board of the San Fernando Academy. Afterwards, in 1746, he was awarded a scholarship to complete his training in Rome, in the workshop of Corrado Giaquinto. In 1748, this master and his assistant undertook the important project of decorating the church of la Santa Trinidad de los Españoles in Rome with paintings and frescoes. The dome and the pendentives, which were the work of the young Antonio, were completed in 1748. Giaquinto left a decisive artistic imprint on the style of González Velázquez, who transmitted his stylistic concepts and compositional schemes of the late Baroque to the new generation of Spanish artists even before the Italian arrived in Spain. This is exemplified in the frescoes for the Holy Chapel of the Basilica del Pilar in Zaragoza, which were produced upon his return in 1752.
Giaquinto, summoned by Ferdinand VI, facilitated Antonio’s professional entry into Madrid, where he achieved the position of court painter in 1757. The artist collaborated on various artistic undertakings. For instance, as a fresco painter, he worked with his brothers on the decoration of the new Royal Palace, painted the murals in the convent of the Encarnación, created the paintings of the dome in the Convent of the Salesas Reales in Madrid, and formed part of the group of painters who worked on the set of canvases for the altarpieces of Saint Francis the Great, a project commissioned by Charles III. González Velázquez’s recognition was manifested in the series of prizes he won in the various competitions of the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts, of which he was a member of merit from 1754. In 1767, he obtained the position of deputy director of painting, and in 1787 he became director. He balanced these jobs with his employment at the Royal Tapestry Factory of Santa Barbara. From 1761 (the year he joined the factory) until 1778, he completed more than 70 works of his own which, far removed from the traditional models of David Teniers and Philips Wouwerman, were repeatedly replicated by the Tapestry Factory’s painters.
González Velázquez is one of the most important artists of 18th-century Spain due to his great mastery and confidence in drawing, his fresco technique, and the originality of his creations. Despite the important role played by Giaquinto in his artistic career, the painter soon developed his own aesthetic ideology, which is discernible in his taste for decorative values with sketchy brushstrokes and bright colours. In the 1760s, when Giaquinto returned to Naples and Anton Raphael Mengs arrived in Madrid, the Bohemian’s influence was perceptible in the work and in the professional future of González Velázquez, who moderated his palette in favour of earthier hues. Despite this, Mengs – who rejected his style as obsolete – favoured younger painters, namely Francisco Bayeu and Francisco de Goya, who gradually pushed him aside from important public commissions and left him no option but to concentrate on stage painting for royal theatres (Reuter, A. in: Encyclopaedia M.N.P., Madrid, 2006, vol. IV, pp. 1179–81).

His portrait, painted by Zacarías González Velázquez, corresponds to work P02495 in the Museo del Prado.

Artworks (60)

Rest of soldiers
Oil on canvas, Second half of the XVIII century
González Velázquez, Antonio
Departure of soldiers
Oil on canvas, Second half of the XVIII century
González Velázquez, Antonio
A Seated Officer speaking with a Soldier
Oil on canvas, Second half of the XVIII century
González Velázquez, Antonio
Rest of soldiers
Oil on canvas, Second half of the XVIII century
González Velázquez, Antonio
A Woman holding a Child sitting on a Donkey
Oil on canvas, Second half of the XVIII century
González Velázquez, Antonio
Soldiers resting in front of a Tent
Oil on canvas, Second half of the XVIII century
González Velázquez, Antonio
An Officer and a Lady warming up by the Fire
Oil on canvas, Second half of the XVIII century
González Velázquez, Antonio
Military Convoy
Oil on canvas, 1776 - 1778
González Velázquez, Antonio
Un oficial a caballo y cuatro soldados a pie
Oil on canvas, 1776 - 1778
González Velázquez, Antonio
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