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Queen Marianne Grieves - Juan Bautista Martinez del Mazo. 196.8 x 146 cm
This picture is made in a dark, gloomy range, which fully corresponds to its content. The Dowager Queen is dressed in a monastic robe in which the white element contrasts sharply with the heavy, black fabric of the upper part. The coverlet seemed to press its weight on the fragile female shoulders, forcing the queen to lean on the arms of the chair.
The widow sits in a massive wooden chair with a fairly high straight back. At her feet there was a dog - a devoted friend, guarding his mistress. The dog looks warily towards the viewer, thereby creating the effect of presence. In the hands of a woman is some kind of document. Its color emphasizes the waxy shade of the Queen's hands. Her face does not reflect suffering, but endless sadness and longing, her eyes are full of tears, but her lips are tightly pressed - she is a queen and will not sob in public, even if she wants to howl from grief.
The foreground is artfully highlighted by a massive velvet curtain or a drapery of rich chocolate color, which visually frames the image of the queen. As was often used in Spanish painting of the time, especially in Velazquez, the space is not limited by the plane of the back wall. It continues, revealing to the spectators the spacious hall with a high ceiling, large columns and statues. Glare of light plays on the floor in a "chess" tile cage. On it, nuns and dwarfs play with the child, while the queen is alienated through her grief. She remained a widow at 31, having buried three of her five children until the death of her husband, King Philip IV.
Despite the restrained and dark colors, the picture does not produce a painful impression. Vivid colors give off light spots - a typical “Habsburg” young face of Marianne and bright highlights on the clothes of nuns with a child. This emphasizes that life goes on.