One blogger notes: "Over the three hundred and fifty years since its painting, many different schools of thought regarding art have come and gone, yet they all proclaim Las Meninas as a masterpiece. A realist proclaims the painting because of its stark depiction of reality. A critic stares at the painting and can uncover new details that were previously overlooked. A deconstructionist examines the unending levels of meaning encountered in Las Meninas, and is overcome by the painting’s complexity. The Marxist loves the painting because of its subtle contrasts between rich and poor. The feminist praises the painting because of its depiction of female power residing in the infanta." (https://pollocksthebollocks.wordpress.com)
I personally enjoy looking at art, literature, and for that matter, life, through a variety of lenses. As Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." And I find the making of art more powerful when I allow my life to directly influence my art. Perhaps what I should say is that I find the making of art more satisfying when I acknowledge the influences of my experience, because whether or not I note the involvement, it is undeniably there. The artist does not create in a vacuum. The sketches and plans I make today will contain elements of eggs benedict, humidity, hanging baskets, Arctic Monkeys, architectural arches, Velazquez, Picasso, and so many other things that I have accidentally encountered and purposefully considered today. Or, as Picasso says, "The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web."
Of course, Picasso's work was impacted by his life. For example, a few months after seeing Las Meninas, his seven-year old blond sister María de la Concepción died from diphtheria. "Picasso and his family (especially his father) never really recovered from their loss. This loss would follow Picasso for the rest of his life. In 1897, at the age of 16 – less than a year after the death of his sister, he produced his first sketch concerning Las Meninas characters – María Agustina (the head maid) and María Margarita (the infanta). It is no coincidence that both the infanta and his sister were blond." (https://pollocksthebollocks.wordpress.com)
It was 60 years later before Picasso produced 58 paintings based on Las Meninas.
"An honest man is always a child."--Socrates
"It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child."--Picasso