Carducho was a Florence born Spanish painter and writer. He was appointed court painter in Madrid in 1609 where his career flourished. He piously painted religious canvases, having an abhorrence for the naturalism of Caravaggio and Velázquez works. There were trying years for him when Velázquez came to court. Following strict piety of the Spanish realm. Carducho died in Madrid of madness.
Luis de Góngora y Argote
Gongora was a Spanish Baroque lyric poet. Góngora and his lifelong rival, Francisco de Quevedo, are widely considered the most prominent Spanish poets of all time. His style is characterized by what was called culteranismo, also known as Gongorism. The nature of his hooked nose presented plenty of opportunity to question his lineage, in a Spain where pure Spanish blood was crucial for success
José Nieto Velázquez
Very little is known about José Nieto, the Queen's Chamberlain and keeper of the royal tapestries. We see his figure at the door in the painting Las Meninas and Portrait of a Man by Diego Velázquez’s is thought to be him. It is not known if he and Diego were related. I have taken many liberties fictionalizing this quiet, loyal hero.
Martha and Diego had an affair on his last visit to Italy. A boy was born, named Antonio, who Diego never met. Diego had no more communication with Martha after his arrival back to his family in Madrid. History records a letter was sent to her by Mazo, Diego's son-in-law, after his death. In Son of Spain I have Diego paint Martha's likeness for Arachne, Sybil (left) and The Rokeby Venus. Although, time and location conveniently entertains the notion, there is no historical evidence to substantiate it.