New Velazquez portrait discovered?

This video is called Diego Velazquez.

From Associated Press:

Velazquez Painting Of Spanish King

September 16, 2012, 9:17pm

DALLAS — In preparing an exhibit on 17th century artist Diego Velazquez’s early work for Spain’s King Philip IV, art historians believe they discovered that a portrait by the Spanish master at Dallas’ Meadows Museum is likely his first of his lifelong patron.

“Diego Velazquez: The Early Court Portraits” opens Sunday at the museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University, the result of a partnership between the Meadows and Madrid’s famed Museo del Prado, Spain’s national art museum. The exhibit, which the Meadows calls the most important devoted to Velazquez in the U.S. in more than two decades, will run through Jan. 13.

“What you’ll see in this exhibition is the beginning of one of the most extraordinary relationships in the history of art; that’s the relationship between young Velazquez and Philip IV,” said Gabriele Finaldi, the Prado’s deputy director for collections.

“What you need there is an extraordinarily talented artist, which you have in Velazquez. But you also need a very far-seeing patron, and that’s Philip IV, who had real personal passion for painting,” Finaldi added.

Velazquez became the king’s court painter in 1623, when he was only 24. It was a job he would hold until his death in 1660 at the age of 61. The exhibit focuses on his first decade working for the king.

For the first time in four centuries, the Dallas exhibit brings together two of Velazquez’s early portraits of the king: the Prado’s full-length portrait of him dressed all in black that was painted in the 1620s and the Meadows’ bust-length portrait.

In anticipation of the show, both portraits underwent analysis at the Prado. X-rays of the Meadows’ portrait showed brush strokes indicating Velazquez was working out how to paint the king, helping back up the belief that it could have been his initial attempt.

“Now we think more than ever that it was the first portrait,” said Mark Roglan, director of the Meadows.

The exhibit features five paintings by Velazquez, including his portrait of the poet Luis de Gongora y Argote from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which was done a year before Velazquez became Philip IV’s court painter. A Velazquez portrait of a court jester painted in the early 1630s comes from the Cleveland Museum of Art.

A portrait of Philip IV from Velazquez’s workshop that has never before been seen in public comes from a private Spanish collection. The exhibition also features 16 prints, some with engraved portraits modeled after Velazquez’s work.

The Prado and the Meadows began a three-year partnership in 2009 that has included an exchange of scholars, research, works of art and exhibitions. This summer the two institutions announced they will extend the collaboration for another two years.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

When Velázquez worked at his first portraits of the Spanish king, he still followed a tradition in which heads of state were idealized and were portrayed distantly. Such a portrait has now been discovered under the present painting.

The Spanish artist developed his own style of painting that went beyond the conventions of his time. He tried as much as possible to depict the inner self of the persons whom he portrayed.

First attempt

The art historians now believe that Velázquez changed the original portrait according to his own views. In the original version, eg, the pronounced chin, which is characteristic of the later images of Philip IV, had still been obscured.

So, in realism instead of idealizing when portraying princes, Velázquez may have been somewhat similar to his contemporary Rembrandt and his compatriot Goya.

Ribera: Art of Violence. Dulwich Picture Gallery, London. JOSE (JUSEPE) RIBERA was born in Xativa near Valencia, a town famous in Roman times for its linen and where later the Arabs introduced paper-production technologies: here.

1 thought on “New Velazquez portrait discovered?

  1. Pingback: Painter van Gogh’s last years, new film | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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