I have been to Museo Nacional del Prado, which is also called Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain, and I might have seen this painting, but I don't remember it at all. This is because 3 years ago, I didn’t know this talented artist - Diego Velázquez.
He has another most famous painting also displayed in the same museum - Las Meninas, which I remember seeing it.
Personally, I prefer another painting. Although it is less refined in brushstrokes but very alive and cinematic.
This painting is called The Fable of Arachne, also known as "The Spinners" and was believed to show women working in a tapestry factory at Court. As the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV of Spain and Portugal, it was painted for Don Pedro de Arce, huntsman to King Philip IV.
According to the art curator from the museum, this is a summary of the painting:
“The work corresponds to his late style: the technique of smudges of paint, as we see on the spinning wheel, the old woman, the idea of movement that the painting has, the use of light makes the work almost like a snapshot. This is what we would say today: a slice of life.”
Compared to his most famous painting - Las Meninas, which also displayed in the same museum, I find The Fable of Arachne more alive and cinematic. Look at the spinning wheel. It is extremely realistic and it appears to be in motion.
Take the words from the art teacher: "He combines knowledge of the classical and Renaissance artistic traditions with a direct confrontation with reality as he paints. The result is very original. It is very characteristic of Velázquez's brand of realism to bring the other worldly down to earth. "