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The Forge Of Vulcan

Painting, 1630, 223×290 cm

Description of the artwork «The Forge Of Vulcan»

The plot for the film "The Forge Of Volcano" borrowed Velasquez in the Metamorphoses of Ovid. On the threshold of the dark workshop of the God Vulcan, lame patron of fire and blacksmith, suddenly, Apollo. Strong helpers of the Volcano, with whom he forges armor and weapons for gods and heroes, opened from surprise mouths. And he thickset and graying in the beard of Vulcan (he's pictured far right) looks at exuding radiance of Apollo askance. And no wonder: radiant (although somewhat rustic in appearance), the God of light brought bad news. Wife of Vulcan, Venus forgot about the marital vows in the arms of the God of war Mars.

Velasquez, according to the contemporary Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset, "don't stand on ceremony with mythology"including it in the circumstances of the vile things of the earth. Mythological scene gets a purely domestic color.

"Forge of Vulcan" is interesting from the point of view of the evolution of the style of Velasquez. It was written during the first of the artist's visit to Italy. Here he distanciruemsa from characteristic of the early works caravaggismwith its sharp black and white transitions and earthy palette. In "the Forge of Vulcan" the outlines of objects become softer, the light more diffuse. A Golden-orange and blue colors appear in the palette of Velasquez for the first time. Critics say about the tangible impact Tintorettoand Titian.

In the arrangement of his pieces there is a certain irony. The mythological story is used by velázquez as a pretext for reflection on contemporary art, his wide range of abilities – and about which of them is preferable. As the famous "Las Meninas"much later will be a reflection on the nature of painting and the artist's place in the universe and society, and "the Forge of Volcano" can be read as a metatext, a "painting about painting, art about art."

Velasquez shows how the encounter of two worlds: the world of academic painting (he, of course, represents Apollo) and unembellished, rough world of reality, "open" Caravaggio. The Mir – refined, it is given in a bright and sonorous tones, he prazdnichnoe lit, it is empty in a robe, a Laurel wreath and delicate sandals. The second "world" – tough, sturdy and almost monochrome. To meet and find understanding them is not so easy. Apollo and would like to penetrate into the workshop, but only the entrance is littered with blacksmith's tools, through which it without damage to itself – not to step over. Well, making attempts to establish communication with an alien world, Apollo brings with it disaster. "The volcano that with one of his men cut piece of metal down the hammer; he starts and seems to fear – his body is relaxed, so that the lameness is particularly noticeable"– says Marina Toropygina.

Interestingly, this confrontation between "light/dark", "high/low" in the film comically duplicated, as indicated by the same researcher: "In a small still life above right played a pantomime, which mirror repeats the situation on the scene: gross details, folded slightly shifted, there is an unevenness, as in the shape of a Volcano, and a delicate white pitcher, the form of which recalls the formulation of the figure of Apollo".

Author: Anna Yesterday
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Mythological scene

Style of art: Baroque

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1630

Size: 223×290 cm

Artwork in selections: 20 selections

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