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The Needlewoman by Diego Velazquez


The hairstyles of the servants were as important as those of their mistresses, for they had to maintain their appearances. With skill and assistance, but not a lot of time, they could keep their appearance both attractive and simple. They were not allowed to compete with their noble employers, but at the same time they must always be presentable. Diego Velazquez has captured the beauty of a seamstress in his famous 1640 painting called "The Needlewoman." The unfinished work nevertheless demonstrates the highly technical skills of Spain's greatest artist of the period. Unlike the thin and pale, almost childlike, subjects of his European counterparts, who were required to emphasize the piousness and modesty of noble ladies, the needlewoman is a warm and buxom servant, who demonstrates both industry and affection. A master realist, Diego hints at his attraction for the woman, who shows a hairstyle that is open, friendly, and orderly, without the contrived complexity and austere nature of those of more noble birth. 15hqqy.











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