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Portrait of Mariana of Austria is a 1652 or 1653 oil-on-canvas painting by Diego Velázquez, the leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age. Its subject, Dona Mariana (known as Maria Anna), was the daughter of Emperor Ferdinand III and Maria Anna of Spain, and was nineteen years old when the painting was completed. Although vivacious and fun-loving in life, she is given an unhappy expression in Velázquez's portrait. The painting is bathed in harmonious shades of black and red, and her face is heavily made up. Her right hand rests on the back of a chair, and she holds a lace handkerchief in her left hand. Her bodice is decorated with jewellery, including a gold necklace, bracelets and a large gold brooch. The clock placed on the scarlet drapery behind her indicates her status. Three full-length versions of the portrait survive, as well as a number of half-length variants. The version in the Museo del Prado (detail pictured) is known to be the original and is dated on the basis of a matching description of a canvas sent to Ferdinand in Vienna in December 1651. (Full article...)
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