This image on the rear wall is not another painting.
You are looking at a mirror.
Instead of reflecting the room, the mirror ignores what we see and restores visibility to that which resides outside our view. It reflects what the figures in the painting are looking at.
Two figures are visible in the mirror - they are
King Philip the fourth and Queen Mariana. |
The painter makes himself divine-like by contemplating his own world from outside it. As a reflection or vestige of his creative mind whose shadow absorbs the idea which causes his entire creation, which is his majesty the king. Without forgetting of course that in all of this there is presence reflecting itself in the center of perspective the eye of the creation.
|In the time of Velazquez, there was a figure known as 'Sargatanas' or 'the lame devil.' He had the power to open all locks and make visible everything inside houses. Could he be the same figure as Jose Nieto, the man standing in the doorway?|
|Another point, Jose Nieto and the Infanta can be said to establish the boundaires of the physical world. The former by showing the ultra-distance of the world of ideas as suggested by deep perspective, and the later by showing the immediate presence of frontal perspective. In between these two, the mirror lodges the shadowy world of divine things.|
"Young man I challenge you to follow my path.
you come and follow me
There is a caution here greater than fire
The exit for all who enter this great house is doubtful and uncertain."