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The real discovery of what the work of Diego Rodr¡guez de SilvaVel zquez (1599-1660) is and represents did not take place until the19th century, when the royal painting collections became stateproperty and were housed in the Prado Museum, founded in 1819. Inparallel, his work was rediscovered by Goya, whom it was greatly toinfluence, and also inspired Manet—who called him "the painter’spainter"—and the French Impressionists in general. Vel zquez careercan be characterised as a lifelong examination of the relationship ofpainting to nature, in which bushwork takes a leading role. As hedeveloped, he realised ever-greater physical and psycologicalnaturalism with progressively more pronounced and elegantbrushstrokes, attaining miracolous effects of illusion with andastounding, abbreviated technique based on the implication rather than the elaboration of detail.The synthesis of the life and work of Vel zquez that the ProfessorSantiago Alcolea i Gil writes in this book offer the reader a wideoverview of the work of one of the world’s most oustanding creativeartists of all time.