Top: Alatriste, 2006. Directed by  Agustín Díaz Yanes.

Bottom: The Surrender of Breda by Diego Velázquez. Oil on canvas, 1635.

Alatriste is a film based on Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s book series, The Adventures of Captain Alatriste and featuring Viggo Mortensen. It’s set in XVII century Spain and it looks as if Diego Velazquez were the director of photography! Throughout the film there are various references to different paintings by Velázquez, including Las Meninas and his portrait of Francisco de Quevedo. If the work of Velazquez and other baroque painters were used to further tie the fiction with the period and place it’s set in, it worked wonders. 

I found it a visually stunning film that, unfortunately, drags the story for too long. But as an art historian, the Spanish baroque references were a pleasure. 

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