At 11 he was apprenticed to Francisco de Herrera the elder, whom he soon left for the studio of Francisco Pacheco, where he remained for five years, learning the technique of painting and being introduced to the history and theory of art. There he also came into contact with the most intellectual society of Seville and with the work of the Spanish naturalist painters and the great Italian masters. His earliest paintings, such as Christ and the Pilgrims of Emmaus (Metropolitan Mus.), show great vigor and a strong naturalistic point of view. In 1618 Velázquez married Pacheco's daughter Juana, and five years later moved to Madrid.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.