Card (Valentine): To My Beautiful Valentine
The Toilet Of Venus ( The Rokeby Venus)
oil on canvas 122.5 x 177cm
Female nudity was rare in paintings in Spain due to the Church's disapproval. This is the last surviving example by Velasquez. Venus was the most beautiful of goddesses and was regarded as a personification of femaie beauty.This painting was probably made for the Marques de Carpio, who displayed it privately to avoid Spanish censure.
Born in Seville, Velasquez became a preferrred royal portaitist. In 1658 he was made Knight of Santiago, a much desired honour.