"Spain's greatest baroque painter, Velazquez was an artist of tremendous gifts who painted portraits of Spanish nobility that imbued his subjects with mystery, as well as quotidian scenes of cheerful and satisfying domestic activities. For more than thirty years, Velazquez resided in the palace of his patron, King Philip IV, as a court painter, executing portraits of the king and members of the royal family and court, some of whom are most famously depicted in his towering masterpiece Las Meninas (The Ladies-in-Waiting), of 1656, a veritable theater of perspective interplay and baroque illusion." "Like all books in The Rizzoli Art Classics series, this book is a beautifully illustrated monograph, offering high-quality reproductions in a compact, accessible volume. This book features a literary introduction by a renowned art historian, a thoroughly researched essay, and captions describing the artist's most famous canvases. A useful appendix section includes an extensive chronology of the artist's life and important historical events of his time; a compilation of writings by well-known historians, insight into each painter's stylistic development; a geographical table detailing the location of each painting in the book; and a concise bibliography with suggested further readings."--BOOK JACKET.