Zacarías González Velázquez

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The Miracle of Saint Casilda by Zacarías González Velázquez, private collection, 1820

Zacarías González Velázquez (1763-1834), was a Spanish painter.

Velázquez was born in Madrid and was the part of a family of artists; his father was Antonio González Velázquez, his grandfather Pablo and his uncles Luis and Alejandro were all sculptors or painters. He began his training at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, initially directed by his father and then later taking over. He was also a student of Mariano Salvador Maella. He decorated several rooms in the Royal Palace of El Pardo, mostly with mythological scenes. He also worked as a painter at the Royal Tapestry Factory. The artistic talent ran in almost everyone in the family. Two of Zacarías' brothers, Isidro González Velázquez and Castor González Velázquez also studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando. They went on to become renowned painters in their own rights.[1]

At the Academy[edit]

Zacarías González Velázquez had a stellar career at the Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando. He enrolled in the Academy in 1777, when his father was the Director. In his second year at the Academy, Zacarías won first prize in the Second Class Paintings category. His prominence grew when he graduated from the Academy in 1782, when a series of commissions were given to him.[1]

Velázquez rose in fame and stature as an artist in the decade of 1780. But it wasn't all smooth sailing. Earlier in the decade Velázquez had enrolled for another degree in the Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando. He had to wait until 7 November 1790 to receive that degree. The intervening years were marked as much by toil as success. In 1793, a major honor was bestowed upon him when he was appointed assistant professor at the Living Principles of the Academy. He was the incumbent until 1807.[1]

Velázquez was appointed Deputy Director of Painting at the Academy of San Fernando in February 1807. This appointment, although an incredible rice in position within the Academy, came at a difficult time for Velázquez. The French invasion and the War of Independence had stifled all creative activity in the country. Velázquez, too, was hit hard by this barren period. Velázquez's fortunes changed once again with the return to power of Ferdinand VII. Eventually, Velázquez rose to the position of Director of the Academy on March 19, 1828, a position he held until 1831.[1]

Portrait of Maria Luisa of Parma, private collection, c. 1790
Portrait of Zacarías González Velázquez by Antonio Mercar.
Painting by Zacarías González Velázquez
Portrait of Ferdinand VII


  1. ^ a b c d "Zacarias Gonzalez Velazquez". Retrieved 26 September 2013. 

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