Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 285
1. What is the history of slavery in Spain and its colonies? Were other ethnic groups besides blacks enslaved?
2. How did slavery in seventeenth-century Spain differ from slavery in England's American colonies?
3. Who was Bartolome Esteban Murillo, and why is he important? Be sure to describe at least one of his paintings, as well as to summarize his life and what modern critics and historians think of him.
4. Compare Trevino's descriptions of Velazquez's paintings with pictures of the paintings. Why does Trevino emphasize Velazquez's dedication to truth in art when he seems to have altered his portraits of King Philip to make him more handsome than he really was? Particularly note Velazquez's first portrait of the king, which the painter seems to have done twice—first with absolute accuracy, then painted over with a more idealistic version.
5. Write a short biography of Velazquez, emphasizing his place in the history of art.
6. Trevino says that all of her fiction deals with the theme of love. Is this true? How do her other novels for young adults deal with love? Do they have anything in common with I, Juan de Pareja?
7. Look up Velazquez's portrait of the pope. What were the circumstances surrounding the painting? What did the pope really think of it? Why is it a significant painting?
8. Search for examples in art books and poster collections for paintings by Juan de Pareja. What were his subjects? Which paintings are his best? Describe one in particular and explain what you like about it.
9. What role did the Catholic church play in the everyday lives of seventeenth-century Spaniards? Is Trevino's depiction of that role accurate?
10. Who were the Knights of Santiago? Why would Velazquez want to be one?
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