About this artwork

William Brassey Hole

Diego Velazquez

William Brassey Hole

Edinburgh-based artist William Hole specialised in history painting and etching. Around 1895 he volunteered to decorate the chancel of St James’ Church on Inverleith Row with large-scale murals. In 1897 the still unfinished work came to the attention of John Ritchie Findlay, owner of ‘The Scotsman’ newspaper. Findlay commissioned Hole to carry out the internal decorative scheme of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, which had recently been built with money donated by Findlay. During several years, Hole designed and painted a processional frieze of Scottish worthies and completed a series of large murals that illustrate events in Scottish history. He later carried out other important commissions, including six paintings for the City Chambers in Edinburgh.

Diego Velazquez

Velázquez became the leading Spanish artist of the seventeenth century. His outstanding skills were evident in his early works in Seville, and his talent for portraiture soon brought him to the attention of the court in Madrid. He moved there on his appointment as painter to King Philip IV in 1623. He was inspired by Titian's paintings in the Spanish royal collection and visited Italy twice. His innovative designs, and bold dazzling brushwork brought universal admiration. Velázquez was honoured as a knight for his artistic and diplomatic services in 1658.