Christ And The Pilgrims Of Emmaus – Diego Velazquez


Without dissent, so far as I can ascertain, the modern authorities agree that this picture is an authentic work by Velazquez dating from his early time, as early indeed as his nineteenth or twentieth year. The picture shows the attitude of mind of a student interested above all in his power of representing things as they actually appeared to him, and absorbed in the delight of exercising his talent in this direction. The figures are models acting the parts and the accessories are all real. There is no suggestion of the mystical significance of the scene, the presence of which, to compare it with a supreme manifestation at the other extreme, makes Rembrandt’s little panel of the same subject in the Louvre one of the most moving and poignant pictures of all European art. Nor has it the poetry of the filling of space, what the painters of the last generation called values, which the developed Velazquez attained in the highest degree, or the “flower like” color of his later work. Its excellence lies in the vigorous modeling and the precise outlines and planes, in the weight and solidity of the things represented, and in the clarity of the craftsmanship. In these qualities the work is preeminent.

It is reproduced and described by A. de Beruete in his work on Velazquez, where he speaks of the fact that the heads, hands, and draperies are modeled with great relief and with the care peculiar to the first manner of the artist. The picture has passed through the collections of Senora Canaveral and Senora Viuda de Garzon in Spain and of Don Manuel de Soto of Zürich.