Las Meninas of Madrid


If you go to Madrid right now it is hard to avoid these pieces of urban art dotted around the city.  

The project aims to recreate the title character in Diego Velázquez’ famous painting Las Meninas (which you can see in the city’s Prado museum; be prepared to jostle your way through the crowd to see it).


Velázquez’ Las Meninas.  There is much debate about the symbolism in this painting.  Photo credit: wikipedia.

Las Meninas (or ladies in waiting) depicts five-year-old Princess Margarita Teresa along with her ladies in waiting, a chaperone, a dog, some dwarfs,  and several members of the court of Philip 1V.  Veláquez himself features in the painting (he is on the left hand side, with his paintbrush), also the king and queen, who can be seen reflected in the mirror.  

There are around 80 interpretations of the Meninas, each one designed by an artist, fashion designer or musician.  The original fibreglass sculptures were created by artist Antonio Azzato, who recruited the others to decorate the Meninas, using the remit ‘what does Madrid mean for you?’


There is a QR code to scan on each sculpture, should you need further information.



It was hard to find any of these statues without somebody draped around it posing for a selfie.  One of the most popular was the Friends Menina, which comes complete with an orange sofa and sits outside the royal palace.  I never saw this one without a queue of people waiting to take a photo with it.

No, I didn’t queue; I don’t queue for a photo opp.


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