King Phillip IV & Queen Mariana On New York’s 72nd Street—Latest From Texas Liberal New York City Desk
(Blogger’s Note—This is the latest offering from Texas Liberal New York City correspondent Lyuba Halkyn. Ms. Halkyn wrote the post and took the pictures. I added the links.)
Two large, bronze sculptures of female abstracts seemed to appear overnight in my neighborhood several weeks ago. These sculptures fit right into the landscape at the entrance of the subway at 72nd Street. This is the subway that I frequently use. It is a wonderful convenience to have a subway stop right outside my front door. Now to enhance my daily mass transit experience, a Spanish, contemporary artist, by the name of Manolo Valdés, will be displaying his work throughout the Upper West Side neighborhoods of Manhattan from May 20, 2010- January 23, 2011.
These sculptures that are at the south entrance of 72nd Street, are two out of six large ladies called Reina Mariana and depict Queen Mariana as immortalized by the artist Diego Velázquez. Velázquez was Spain’s greatest baroque artist in the 17th century. He became King Phillip IV’s official painter. One of his greatest masterpieces was Las Meninas painted in 1656. This painting depicted the daughter of King Phillip IV and Queen Mariana. If you are not familiar with this painting, it is most definitely worth checking out.
I was not familiar with the background of either of these artists but found myself digging deeper into the history of these sculptures and finding out more about its influences. I also found the connection between a modern day artist/sculptor, Valdés, and a baroque, 17th century artist, Velázquez intriguing enough to mention.
Living in a vibrant city, such as New York, free art pops up everywhere. It’s even better when it pops up right outside my front door.