Vulcan's Forge

7:00 AM

Diego Velazquez Vulcan's Forge, 1630
Interrupting a steamy moment, Apollo pops in where Vulcan and his buddies are making "weapons of war." He drops by to let Vulcan know that his Mrs. is having an affair with Mars. Disturbed and embarrassed by the news, Vulcan stands to Apollo's left with his shoulders and face expressing his clear discomfort. Whether because a God just appeared in the room, or the personal nature of his visit, Velazquez also does a fantastic job of showing the shock of the others in the room. During a time where painting movement was the acclaimed talent, Velazquez paints a scene of shock and stillness that still embodies the Counter-Reformation trends.

Supposedly making armor for none other than Mars himself, Vulcan and his men are set up in a forge where Velazquez beautifully details the background with objects that would have been found in the smitheries and forges. Along with their steamy smelting, Velazquez adds, or rather doesn't add, a drapery with little covering over Vulcan and his barefoot works.  In contrast to this, Apollo appears in a longer, flowing covering and sandals. The God of Sun radiates with knowledge and power in the room, looking pretty full of himself with his hand position and facial expression. Where the minimally-covered men look in shock and wonder.

Vulcan, smoking hot metal in hand, looks terribly dangerous with his Caravaggio-like face, and strong body. The bodies of all of the smelters in the forge look healthy and muscular, but Vulcan's face looks troubled and quite angry, like he could strike out at Apollo with his burning weapon at any moment. Velazquez painted this scene with tension and curiosity and fully embraced the new characteristics of the Counter-Reformation with his style and composition.

You Might Also Like