Giuseppe Velasquez or Velasco was a Neoclassic style painter born in Palermo. Who, at the age of 15 changed his last name to that of the famous Spanish painter, (Diego) Velazquez. He studied painting under Gaetano Mercurio and Giuseppe Tresca, but was influenced by Gioacchino Martorana.
He often collaborated in providing the decoration for the structures built by the architect Giuseppe Venanzio Marvuglia and was supported by the Viceroy Caramanico, for whom he painted his portrait. In 1805 he became Director of the Accademia del Nudo at the University of Palermo taking the place of the painter Mariano Rossi. Velasco was buried in the Chiesa dei Cappuccini of Palermo.
Among his works:
– St Benedict (1775), Church of Concezione, Palermo.
– St Benedict destroys the Idols, Ecstasy of Santa Scolastica, and Presentation at the Temple (1772 – 1775 ), Church of San Biagio, Nicosia.
– Miracle of St Vincent Ferreri (1787), Church of San Domenico, Palermo.
– Stories of Moses and St Anthony of Padua, Church of San Antonino di Padova.
– Battle of Constantinople, Palazzo Costantino, Palermo
– Life of St Paul, Church of St Paul, Malta.
– Santa Rosalia (oval for ceiling), Cathedral of Palermo.
– Frescoes (1792-1796), Royal Botanic Gardens, Palermo.
– Saint Peter, Matthew, Paul, and Andrea (frescoes, 1798), Church of San Matteo
– Labors and Apotheosis of Hercules (frescoes, 1799), Gallery of Hercules, Royal Palace, Palermo.
– Dream of William II the Good (Canvas, 1799), Benedictine convent, Monreale.
– Assumption of Mary (1801), Cathedral of Palermo.
– Monochromatic frescoes of Santa Ciara, Church of Santa Maria degli Agonizzanti.
– Coronation by Christ of Santa Cristina (Canvas, 1803), Cathedral of Palermo.
– Psyche conducted by Mercury to Olympus and Story of Psyche and Amore (frescoes), Palazzo Ganci.
– Mythological frescoes (1805), Palazzina Cinese.
– Saints Benedict, Placido, and Mauro and Adoration by the Magi (canvases, 1808), Church of San Salvatore, Noto.
– Annunciation, Assumption, Coronation of the Virgin (1809), Church of Randazzo.
– Granting keys to St Peter, Mother church of Castelbuono.
– Martyrdom of St Andrea, Martyrdom of Saints Filippo and Giacomo, Holy Family, (canvases, 1812-1816), church of Randazzo.
– Portraits of Giuseppe Ventimiglia, Monsignor Ciafaglione, Ferdinand of Bourbon, Marabitti, and Marchese Airoldi.