|sent from: The High St, Esher, Surrey, UK. destination: El Tejado de Bejar, Salamanca, Spain|
I don’t remember when I first saw Las Meninas for real, nor do I remember buying and displaying a postcard of it. It must have been sometime in the early to mid-1990s, when I first started taking trips into Madrid to visit the museums that we would speed past in our haste to get to our village.
I’m sure I can’t offer any new insight into this work, but it struck me how incredibly ‘meta’ the whole piece is – not only is it a painting of a painting, but by placing the supposed subject of the canvas we see him painting (the King and Queen) where we the audience are, it’s as if he’s painting a picture of all the people looking at this scene right now. /head explodes. And people in the 21st century think they’re self-aware and clever, hah.
Another (troubling) thought that occurred to me while posting this was the subject of copyright, as I helped a friend get the rights from El Prado to publish Las Meninas in her book. What would the rights be to publishing a scan of a postcard online like this? Should I be obtaining the rights from the original copyright-holders to be using their work in this way? Answers on a postcard (ha), please.