The Surrender of Breda

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Dr. Reza Kibria

Editor’s Choice: A Selection of Important Works of Art

This section introduces readers to a selection of great works of art, primarily paintings of the Western World. The works chosen include some personal favourites, others which are well-known or influential in some way and yet others representative of a particular school of art. The impact of a work of art is of course many times greater when the original is seen. If possible readers should try to visit the galleries and museums housing these priceless treasures.

The Surrender of Breda”, Diego Velasquez, 1634-35, oil on canvas, 307x367 cm, Prado, Madrid

Diego Valesquez (1599-1660), court painter to Phillip IV of Spain, primarily painted portraits but this, his only surviving historical painting, is regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces of the period. Velasquez attempted to present a realistic depiction of the scene, the surrender of the Dutch city of Breda to Spanish forces under the Genoese general Ambrogio Spinoza, whom the artist greatly admired for his courage in war and magnanimity in victory.