Diego VelázquezDiego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez, , .}} (baptized June 6, 1599August 6, 1660) was a Spanish painter, the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV of Spain and Portugal, and of the Spanish Golden Age. He was an individualistic artist of the Baroque period (c.1600–1750). He began to paint in a precise tenebrist style, later developing a freer manner characterized by bold brushwork. In addition to numerous renditions of scenes of historical and cultural significance, he painted scores of portraits of the Spanish royal family and commoners, culminating in his masterpiece ''Las Meninas'' (1656).
Velázquez's paintings became a model for 19th-century realist and impressionist painters. In the 20th century, artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and Francis Bacon paid tribute to Velázquez by re-interpreting some of his most iconic images.
Most of his work entered the Spanish royal collection, and by far the best collection is in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, though some portraits were sent abroad as diplomatic gifts, especially to the Austrian Habsburgs. Provided by Wikipedia