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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


Diego Velázquez (Biographical details)

Diego Velázquez (painter/draughtsman; Spanish; Male; 1599 - 1660)

Also known as

Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y; Velázquez, Diego; Velasquez, Diego


Painter, born Seville. There he trained under Francisco Pacheco (q.v.), marrying his daughter Juana. Moved to Madrid (1623) to work at court and named 'Pintor del Rey' (Philip IV) in the same year. Journeyed twice to Italy (1629-31; 1649-51). Spent the remainder of his life in Madrid in service of the king as both painter and 'aposentador' (royal chamberlain). Most important work is 'Las Meninas' (1656, Museo del Prado, Madrid) in which he includes a self portrait. Known for his portraits ('Innocent X', c. 1650-51, Galleria Doria Pamphilj, Rome), mythological paintings ('Apollo in Vulcan's Forge', 1630, Museo del Prado, Madrid), religious works ('Christ Crucified', 1632, Museo del Prado, Madrid), and genre paintings ('Old Woman Frying Eggs', 1618, National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh).


J. López-Rey, 'Velázquez', Cologne 1996.
A. Palomino, 'Lives of the Eminent Spanish Painters and Sculptors', Cambridge 1987 (trans. Nina Ayala Mallory), pp.139-83.
J. Brown, 'Velázquez: Painter and Courtier', New Haven and London 1986.
J.A. Ceán Bermúdez, 'Diccionario histórico de los mas ilustres profesores de las bellas artes en España', Madrid 1800, V, pp.155-80.