- Inventory number
- Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
- Juan Martínez Montañés
- Ca. 1635
- 109 cm x 88 cm
- On display
- Royal Collection (Collection of Felipe V, Quinta of the Duke of El Arco, El Pardo-Madrid, “novena pieza que es salón”, 1745, [n. 280]; Quinta of the Duke of El Arco, “pieza octava de salón”, 1794, n. 214)
Juan Martínez Motañés (1558-1649) was one of the most important Andalusian sculptors and a great friend of Velázquez's father-in-law and teacher, Francisco Pacheco (1564-1644).
Dressed in black, with a starched white collar, the sculptor is shown modeling a wax or clay bust of Felipe IV (1605-1665) that was to be sent, along with a painting by Velázquez, to the Italian, Pietro Tacca (1577-1640) as a model for his bronze sculpture of the Monarch, which is now in Madrid's Plaza de Oriente.
His gaze, directed at the spectator rather than at the royal bust, is a defense of the intellectual nature of sculpting. This is an allegorical device Velázquez would repeat in his self-portrait in Las Meninas (P01174).