The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Saturday, October 25, 2014


The Prado Museum is presenting Portrait of a Man, recently attributed to Velázquez
On the left: Keith Christiansen, Chairman of European Paintings, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Nuria de Miguel, General Secretary of Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado and Gabriele Finaldi, Associate Director of Curatorship and Research at the Museo Nacional del Prado.
MADRID.- On loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, of which Plácido Arango is an honorary patron, Velázquez’s Portrait of a Man has arrived in Spain in honour of the President of the Museum’s Board of Trustees over the past five years.

Until 27 January 2013, and thanks to the sponsorship of the Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Velázquez’s Portrait of a Man is being exhibited within the “Invited Work” programme that was launched in 2009 with the aim of enriching visitors’ understanding of the works in the Museum’s own collection. The Prado is offering the public the exceptional opportunity to see the painting now that it has been re-attributed to Velázquez, having been catalogued as a work by his circle since 1963.

The portrait temporarily joins the Museum’s own collection of works by Velázquez and is on display in Room 9A alongside The Surrender of Breda, one his most important and celebrated compositions. The direct comparison now possible between the invited work and Velázquez’s great history painting will allow for an appreciation of the striking similarity between the sitter in the portrait and the anonymous soldier on the right of the Surrender, as noted by the American Hispanist Jonathan Brown in the course of his study of the sitter in the Metropolitan’s canvas.

History of Portrait of a Man (ca.1635)
In 2009 this male portrait, which had been on display in the Metropolitan Museum with an attribution to the circle of Velázquez, was sent to its restoration studio. As work progressed on cleaning its qualities became increasingly evident, leading Jonathan Brown to publish it as an original by Velázquez, reinstating the previous autograph status of the work that was maintained until 1963 when José López-Rey decided that it was not possible to firmly attribute it to the artist given its state of conservation at the time.

The painting’s condition was the result of its eventful history. It had been in private collections in Germany from the eighteenth century until 1925 or 1926 when it was acquired by Joseph Duveen, the most important Old Master picture dealer of the day. With the aim of placing the canvas on the market, he had it restored in a way that reflected international collectors’ tastes. This involved making the background uniform, strengthening parts of the torso that were only lightly sketched in, transforming the hair into a solid zone and in general creating a more static, homogeneous image. This new effect was subsequently increased by the aging of the varnish.

Recent restoration has now freed the painting from this straightjacket and has revealed technical devices and representational strategies that are typical of Velázquez. The background is no longer uniform and has recovered its vibrancy, produced by subtle gradations of light that produce depth and enliven the figure. This is a technique that appears in other works by the artist such as Portrait of a Man in the Wellington Museum, London.

Equally, the recent restoration of the painting reveals how the artist modified the position of the head as he went along and how the hair is certainly not a compact, static mass but is dynamic and vibrant despite considerable wear.

This overall sensation of liveliness and dynamism, achieved through vibrations of light and a judicious distribution of the different levels of finish, support the attribution to Velázquez, as does another characteristic of the painting, namely the impression that it conveys of having been created almost without effort.

The identity of the model is not known. A comparison with Velázquez’s Self-portrait in Valencia and with the one in Las Meninas led Mayer (the German Hispanist who died in 1944) to suggest that this is another depiction of the artist. However, this comparison reveals more differences than similarities given that all definite or proposed self-portraits of Velázquez show him with darker skin and more pronounced features. However, the figure is strikingly similar to that of the anonymous soldier on the far right of The Surrender of Breda. In the nineteenth century this figure was also considered a self-portrait, although this idea is no longer accepted.





Today's News

October 24, 2012

Louvre museum in Paris seeks $1 million to buy precious 13th-century statuettes

"Explosion! The Legacy of Jackson Pollock" opens at The Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona

Exhibition of marble and bronze sculptures by Fernando Botero opens at Marlborough Gallery in New York

The Prado Museum is presenting Portrait of a Man, recently attributed to Velázquez

Sotheby's London to sell the Ronald Horton / Derek Ancil Collection of pictures by Edward Seago

Gagosian Gallery opens new exhibition space at Le Bourget in the north of Paris with "Morgenthau Plan"

Milwaukee Art Museum acquires Lanford Wilson Collection of self-taught art

Center premieres first major Anthony Caro exhibition in US in nearly forty years

Brilliant but still misunderstood: Scottish Colourist George Leslie Hunter at the Fleming Collection

Menno Meewis, Director of the Middelheimmuseum in Antwerp, dies at age 58

Experienced consultant Noémie Bonnet appointed Executive Director of Asia Week New York

Medieval sword captured from Mamluk arsenal in Alexandria during last Crusade for sale at Bonhams

Auckland Art Gallery announces artist Kate Newby as winner of the Walters Prize 2012

The White House Years Of Robert S. McNamara brings in more than $1 million at Sotheby's

Flight suit from Cuban crisis goes to Smithsonian

Georgia Museum of Art exhibits lovers' eyes

BMW Guggenheim Lab to open in Mumbai December 9

Assaf Shaham, winner of the Constantiner Photography Award, exhibits at the Tel Aviv Museum of Ar

South African photographer Alfred Kumalo, who depicted apartheid, dies at age 82

Take Another Look! Exhibition on view at the Demuth Museum

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

2.- Giant mosaic unearthed in mysterious tomb in Amphipolis in northern Macedonia

3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

4.- Paris flustered by erection of 'sex-toy' sculpture; Paul McCarthy slapped by a passer-by

5.- High art or vile pornography? Marquis de Sade explored in Orsay museum exhibition

6.- 'Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection' opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

7.- Greek culture minister says Elgin Marbles return a matter of 'global heritage'

8.- Vandals deflate Paris 'sex-toy' sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy after outrage

9.- Exhibition at National Gallery in London explores Rembrandt's final years of painting

10.- 'Hans Memling: A Flemish Renaissance' opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site