Juan de Pareja (1606-1670) by Velazquez, at MET, NYC

Velazquez (Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez)

Spanish, Seville 1599-1660 Madrid

Juan de Pareja (1606-1670) 1650 (oil on canvas)

“Velazquez most likely executed this portrait of his enslaved assistant in Rome during the early months of 1650. According to one of the artist’s biographers, when this landmark of western portraiture was first put on display it “received such universal acclaim that in the opinion of all the painters of different nations everything else seemed like painting by this alone like truth”. Months after depicting his sitter in such a proud and confident way, Velazquez signed a contract of manumission that would liberate him from bondage in 1654. From that point forward, Juan de Pareja worked as an independent painter in Madrid.”

Published by nelsongon

I love media and communication, as well as digital technology. I write in Spanish and English, fluent in both languages: speak, read, write, comprehend. I was born in New York, but was sent to Puerto Rico at an early age, where I lived until drafted by the U.S. army. Upon returning from an honorable discharge, I found Puerto Rico small and limited at the time. I moved to Boston where I pursued musical studies and later worked as a musician, teacher, and speech-pathologist in New York. I studied music at Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA, and Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at various New York City colleges, including New York University, New York City, New York. I played professionally in Puerto Rico, prior to entering Berklee College of Music, and after finishing studies there I played in the 80’s bass guitar briefly, with various latin bands, including the Machito Big Band Orchestra in 1982. I was part of their recording that year. Once I saw the transitory nature of music, I studied speech-pathology and worked in that function after teaching middle-school and elementary grades in the New York City Board/Department of Education. In that capacity, I also worked for the New York City Department of Health as an independent contractor providing therapy and evaluations for pre-school and school-age children. I later worked in the high school setting in that capacity before I retired from the Department of Education. I am now retired and with my spare time, I pursue old, and new dreams, as age is a reminder of the evanescence and impermanence of life.

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