Velásquez’s Secret


Velásquez’s Secret

Two large paintings
hang on the wall,
one in front of the other:
Las meninas.

I gaze at the serving maids,
the royal princess,
the court dwarf,
the sleeping dog.

The painter,
stranded behind his easel,
paintbrush waving,
stares back at me.

I turn around.
The second painting
is not a painting:
It’s a mirror.

There I am,
standing by the princess,
one of the family.
I move my hand
and wave at myself
across the centuries.

Like the four court dwarfs
staring out from their wooden
prisons on the walls in another room,
I emerge from obscurity
and join the élite:

the painter
waves his magic wand
paints me
as I stand beside
the king and queen.

3 thoughts on “Velásquez’s Secret

  1. Wonderful imazination abort courtpainter of philip fourth,d king of spain .u see.dt n dt scare heart is enjoying as u idea about of velasquez right,dear sir?is d las meninnas so much wonderful?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely right, Aruna. My own theory about Las meninas is that Velásquez includes the viewer in the group he is painting, along with the king and the Queen. This is one of the ways he draws us (so to speak) into the painting and makes it seem so real. I saw it in the Prado, a long time ago, with a large mirror in front of it … that play between reality and mirror gave me this idea.


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