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The painting “Strands” was painted by Velazquez in 1657. She reflected all his skill in working with various techniques and creating complex textures of materials.
The “Strands” of the two planned multi-figure composition directly reflects Velazquez’s love for the “picture in picture” technique. The complex picture has an extensive color palette, saturated with many different objects.
In the background is a tapestry depicting a historical theme, due to which it was read at one time that the painting was dedicated to the workshop at the royal monastery in Madrid. Already in the middle of the 20th century it was revealed that this is an illustration to the myth of the contest between Athena and Arachne, borrowed from the Metamorphoses of the famous Roman poet Ovid.
In the foreground of the picture are the main characters - Athena in a white scarf on her head, Arkhan turned his back. The essence of the myth was their rivalry, which of them will strain the yarn more. Arkhana won, for which Athena was turned into a spider.
The painting was painted in a rich color palette, the colors are muffled, painstakingly selected details of the image, architecture immersed in the darkness.
The genre essence of the picture and the mythological component of the plot take the viewer away from the simple process of creating yarn.
Velazquez clearly prescribed a lot of drapery in the picture: these are folds of a golden-scarlet curtain, and folds of girls' skirts.
The artist competently and harmoniously distributed a palette of warm colors - this is a combination of a brownish cape of one of the girls and a piece of reddish-pink fabric.
Athena is dressed in a dark brown dress with a thin white scarf on her head. Arhan is wearing a dark, fluffy blue skirt and a white loose blouse with rolled up sleeves. This technique allows you to unobtrusively highlight the main characters of the composition.
To date, Velasquez's painting "Strands" is in the Prado National Museum in Madrid.
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