- Inventory number
- Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
- of the Gardens of the Villa Medici in Rome, with the statue of Ariadne
- Ca. 1630
- 44 cm x 38 cm
- On display
- Royal Collection (New Royal Palace, Madrid, “tercera pieza de la Furriera”, 1747, n. 209; Royal Palace of El Buen Retiro, Madrid, “cuarto del infante don Antonio”, 1772, n. 209; El Buen Retiro Palace, 1794, n. 713; Royal Palace, Madrid, “secretaría de Estado”, 1814-1818, n. 713)
In this masterpiece of Western landscape painting, Velázquez depicted his idea of landscape without any narrative excuse to justify it.
It was probably painted during his first visit to Rome and is now thought to have been painted to capture a specific moment and atmospheric circumstance: midday. In a corner of the Villa Medici gardens, two men converse in the foreground, while a third looks out at the landscape through an open serliana over which a sculpture of sleeping Ariadne presides.
While very little is know of this work, its beauty and quality place it among the great masterworks at the Prado Museum and one of the few pre-nineteenth century examples of landscape painted directly from nature.