Surrender of Delirium - Diego Velazquez. 307 x 367 cm
This battle canvas is one of a series of twelve paintings dedicated to the victories of the Spanish King Philip IV. Breda is a city in Holland, which was besieged by Spanish troops, and, in the end, was forced to surrender to superior enemy forces.
The picture does not depict a battle scene, but the moment of handing over the keys to the city by the governor of Breda to the commander of the Spanish army. Historically, and from the point of view of military strategy, this siege was a rather pointless exercise, but as a political step, it brought a lot of benefits to the Spanish crown.
"Surrender of Breda" is a very large multi-figure canvas, made with great skill. In the background of the picture you can see a vast landscape, since the characters in the foreground are at a higher point than the city itself. Thanks to this technique, the whole city looks like a geographical map lying under the feet of the conquerors. In some places traces of the siege are visible - smoke rising above the conflagration. Large space and deep perspective give the image a special airiness, make a fairly static scene more expressive and voluminous.
The foreground of the picture is a clear contrast between the warring parties. The Spaniards are a forest of terrifying peaks, raised to the sky and giving the canvas special expressiveness, some kind of cruel rhythm, a shade of potential threat. On the "Spanish" side there is a figure of a mighty, war horse - a real personification of power. This magnificent animal of bay color with a black mane and tail is depicted with exceptional craftsmanship, in a very difficult position to transmit - from behind and from the side. Not only that, the horse raised its hind leg, striking impatiently with a hoof. This technique makes an already very realistic image even more voluminous and expressive.
The central part of the picture is the most important moment of the event. The humbled position of the governor and the patronizing one of the commander emphasizes what is happening.
The picture has a rich and rich color, but completely in the spirit of the artist, without the use of flashy, too bright colors. This spectacular canvas still impresses with its mastery of painting and the beauty of the image.
The painting has another name - "Spears". Before Velazquez, many portrayed such weapons, but only its stockade of long copies can be considered a real personification of the war.