Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (June 1599 —August 6, 1660) was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV.
Velázquez was born in Seville early in June 1599, the son of a lawyer of noble Portugese descent. He was an artist of astonishing technique and confidence, and in the opinion of many art critics unsurpassed as a portrait artist. His great fame came long after his death, starting in the first quarter of the 19th century, when it proved a model for the realist and impressionist artists, in particular Edouard Manet. His influence continued on to later artists such as Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí.
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