Seniors learn about Spanish artwork

Royalty and those wealthy enough would pay the top artists for portraits. Photos by Daniel Curtin

By Daniel Curtin
Hometown Weekly Reporter

Art education and awareness group Art Matters recently joined senior citizens at Waterstone at Wellesley for a talk about three of the greatest Spanish artists of all time. The presentation, which revolved around El Greco, Diego Velazquez, and Francisco Goya, discussed how the respective artists were influenced by the culture and society in which they worked.

Beth Knaus, the art awareness presenter, walked around the room showing oversized fine art reproductions featuring the most notable works of the artists in question. She also talked about the inspiration behind the art.

“It’s a great opportunity, because I hear a lot of different people’s perspectives. Not everyone sees the same thing in a painting, and it gets people to open up. They have a lot of conversations about it,” Knaus said.

El Greco, who was born on Crete in 1541, was not only a painter, but a sculptor and architect, as well. Some of El Greco’s better-known works, which were shown during the presentation, included “Lady in a Fur Wrap” and “The Burial of the Count of Orgaz.”

Presenter shows print of El Greco’s “Lady in a Fur Wrap”. Photos by Daniel Curtin

Presenter shows print of El Greco’s “Lady in a Fur Wrap”. Photos by Daniel Curtin

Diego Velazquez was the leading artist for King Philip IV and painted many portraits of the Spanish royal family. His other works included popular historical scenes of the time. His “Portrait of Innocent X” and “Portrait of Juan de Pareja” were shown during the presentation.

Francisco Goya, considered by many as one of the most important Spanish artist of the late 18th and early 19th century, used his art to comment on issues of the time, including the Peninsular War, problems the poor faced, and political corruption.

Carol Rosow was in attendance. Even though not all the art was to her taste, she thought that Knaus was very comprehensive in her presentation.

“Some of [the art] I like, and some of it I don’t like,” Rosow said. “[Knaus is] great and she varies it while doing a thorough job.”

A few of the many different art presentations offered by Art Matters include programs on Leonardo Da Vinci, art from ancient civilizations, and post-Impressionism. Knaus comes back to Waterstone to give a talk on different art subjects about once a month.

“This is a good group,” she said. “I have been coming here for a long time. It’s intellectually stimulating and most people really like it.”

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