Kitchen maid with the supper at Emmaus by Diego Velázquez
55 x 118 cm
Oil on canvas
Presented, Sir Alfred and Lady Beit, 1987 (Beit Collection)
Regarded as the greatest Spanish artist of his time, Velázquez began his career in his native Seville and later became the leading artist at the court of King Philip IV in Madrid. This painting is widely considered to be Velázquez’s earliest known work. The artist painted Christ appearing to his disciples at Emmaus in the left background. In the foreground he depicted a Moorish servant working in the kitchen. The inversion of the religious and the worldly subjects was inspired by Flemish painters, including Pieter Aertsen.