Inventory number
P01172
Author
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y (Spanish)
Title
The Surrender of Breda or The Lances
Chronology
1635
Technique
Óleo
Support
Lienzo
Dimensions
307 cm x 367 cm
School
Española
Theme
Militar
On display
Yes
Provenance
Colección Real (Palacio del Buen Retiro, Madrid, 1701, [nº 244]; Palacio Real Nuevo, antecámara de la serenísima infanta, 1772, nº 244; Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, pieza de vestir, 1794, nº 244; Palacio Real, Madrid, [1ª] pieza de vestir, 1814-1818, nº 244).

Ambrosio Spinola, the Genoese general in charge of Spanish troops in Flanders receives the keys to the city of Breda from the Dutch governor, Justin of Nassau, ending a long siege. This occurred on 5 June 1625. At the time, it was considered a key moment in the long war waged by the Spanish to prevent Dutch independence.

The work has a clear propagandistic bent, emphasizing the clemency of the Spanish monarchy. Unlike other paintings of contemporary history, the present one takes no joy in victory, and the only evidence of the battle is the smoking background. Velasquez focuses our attention of the foreground, where preparations are being made not only to end the war, but also to initiate the peace that follows.

The painting is an excellent example of this artist's mastery of all pictorial resources: skill at crating atmosphere, light and landscape in his works, mastery of portraiture, and a profound knowledge of aerial perspective.

 

Share with

X
image facebook image twitter Share on Google+ image Email
Ministerio de Cultura. Gobierno de España; abre en ventana nueva
España es cultura Spain is culture
Copyright © 2014 Museo Nacional del Prado.
Calle Ruiz de Alarcón 23
Madrid 28014
Tel. +34 91 330 2800.
All rights reserved