Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Humanities and Cultural Studies

Major Professor

David Underwood, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Andrew Berish, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Scott Ferguson, Ph.D.


Bodegone, Spanish Baroque, Seville, Place, Interweltsein


The purpose of this thesis is to question the art historical notion of influences, specifically in the case of the seventeenth century Spanish Baroque artist Diego Velázquez. His work is often seen as an extension of the realist movements in Flanders and Italy at the turn of the seventeenth century, but that view is extremely reductive. Velázquez strove to depict the world around him as he saw it, attempting to incorporate the transient nature of the scenes before him into his works. The city of Seville, in which Velázquez lived and worked, provided the setting and cultural elements that would orient his work He was able to simultaneously break free of the conventions that had been placed on artists in the early seventeenth century and embrace his proto-impressionistic artistic style while developing himself as an artist.

His paintings, especially his bodegones, showcase the low-class culture and citizens of Seville. Velázquez's subjective representation of these low class subjects and scenes allow him to re-create the city of Seville on his canvas, allowing the modern-day viewer to experience the represented environment. Velázquez's artwork allows his viewers to be immersed Interweltsien (in-the-world) and experience the world that he was depicting. This thesis will use both Place Theory and Phenomenology to better understand the works that Velázquez created while he was living in Seville.