Skip to content

Las Meninas: Second Interpretative Exercise

There are some art exhibitions that you go to that simply have the capacity to strike deep. Many shows are pleasing, others interesting, but then there are those which you remember for ever. I’ll never forget for example Frida Kahlo or Henri Rousseau at Tate Modern, Tamara de Lempicka at the Royal Academy, Dali at the Centre Pompidou or Da Vinci at the National Gallery London. Now to that list I add the Kandinsky retrospective at CentroCentro in Madrid, not because it was any better than the Kandinsky I saw many years before at Tate, but simply because the combination of time and energy and who know’s what combined to leave me utterly inspired.

When, the next day, I walked into the Prado and saw Velázquez’s Las Meninas once again, something shifted in my head, and I left an artist converted.

I started my reinterpretations of Las Meninas shortly after the whirl of the Christmas season was over, and my first, Las Meninas (In Our Time) I shared with you a few weeks ago. But my new project was far from over, and this painting, shared today, was the one which leapt into life before my eyes that day in the Prado Gallery when Kandinsky was still very much on my mind.

Las Meninas 2 FINAL

Las Meninas: Second Interpretative Exercise (2016 ©Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, acrylic on canvas)

Las Meninas: Second Interpretative Exercise borrows from Velázquez’s composition, but otherwise radically simplifies the forms of his dramatic personæ, and swaps the dark browns and neutral shades of his painting with a vibrant almost pop-art palette. The result is an image which pleases me incredibly. It is at once abstract but recognisable, tidy but surreal. I had great fun in reimagining each piece of the painting – for example painting the dog’s stretched out arm as a bone, and the nun’s head like a piece of sushi – and best of all, I know that this is only the beginning. Abstraction and simplified forms are spinning around my head. Ideas are overflowing, and I can’t sit still for a need to paint.

It’s why I’ll always remember that Kandinsky show, because it switched on a light in my head which has long remained dormant.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Benozzo Gozzoli’s Magi mural in the Medici chapel in Florence, All the Delauney’s at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, the Scottish Highlands by Gustave Doré, Lilas of Van Gogh…

    February 11, 2016
  2. maru clavier #

    I like this one very, very much. Minimalistic and striking.

    February 11, 2016
    • I’m so delighted you like it!! It’s a new step for me, but in excited!! Happy Valentine’s Day! 😊

      February 14, 2016
      • maru clavier #

        Looking forward to the next step. 😊 I think I’ll enjoy this path in your artwork.
        Happy Valentines to you too. 💟

        February 14, 2016

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Las Meninas: Third Interpretative Exercise | The Daily Norm
  2. Las Meninas: Fourth Interpretative Exercise | The Daily Norm
  3. A Windsor Weekend, Part VI: The Abstract | The Daily Norm
  4. Venice 201618 | The Daily Norm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: