Lives of Velázquez brings together two seminal early accounts of the great seventeenth-century Spanish painter (ca. 1599–1660). These texts, written by his contemporaries Francisco Pacheco and Antonio Palomino and newly translated for this volume, serve as our main sources of knowledge about this groundbreaking artist. Pacheco’s biography reveals the scale of the challenge to traditional painting presented by Velázquez’s immense talent. Palomino’s text, while precise and detailed in its narrative of the artist’s life, also tackles the aesthetic debate generated by the painter’s choice of subject matter and style.