Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Head of a Man

Spanish (Castilian) Painter (mid-17th century or later)
Oil on canvas
14 x 10 3/4 in. (35.6 x 27.3 cm)
Credit Line:
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Accession Number:
Not on view
Inscription: Inscribed (lower right): 758
Spanish nobleman (possibly Benito Garriga or Garriga family, Madrid); [Berringham, Paris, 1895–97; sold through Raimundo de Madrazo to Havemeyer, as by Velázquez]; Mr. and Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, New York (by 1902–his d. 1907); Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer, New York (1907–d. 1929)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The H. O. Havemeyer Collection," March 11–November 2, 1930, no. 73 (as by José [or Jusepe] Leonardo, formerly attributed to Velázquez) [2nd ed., 1958, no. 187, as by an unknown Castilian Painter].

Winter Park, Fla. Morse Gallery of Art. "Spanish Art of Six Centuries," January 12–31, 1946, not in catalogue.

Westport, Conn. Westport Community Art Association. "Spanish Painting," November 5–18, 1955, no catalogue.

Palm Beach. Society of the Four Arts. "Spanish Painting, XVII–XX Centuries," January 4–27, 1963, no catalogue?

Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Miners National Bank. "Loan Exhibition from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," December 1–15, 1964, no. 11.

Edgar Degas. Letter. 1895–97 [published in Ref. Venturi 1939, vol. 2, pp. 104–5, letter no. 17], mentions this portrait as a head he believes to be by Velázquez, bought by a Monsieur de Bermingham [sic for Berringham] from a private collection in Madrid; comments that Rouart found the picture magnificent.

"The H. O. Havemeyer Collection." Parnassus 2 (March 1930), p. 5.

H. O. Havemeyer Collection: Catalogue of Paintings, Prints, Sculpture and Objects of Art. n.p., 1931, p. 54, ill., as by José Leonardo.

Bryson Burroughs. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Catalogue of Paintings. 9th ed. New York, 1931, pp. 210–11, as by José Leonardo.

August L. Mayer. Velazquez: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Pictures and Drawings. London, 1936, p. 90, no. 384, pl. 73, as evidently a fragment of a Velázquez studio replica painted about 1623–25; suggests it may represent Count Peñaranda, Chamberlain of Infante Don Fernando.

Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, p. 242, ill., calls it a fragment of a larger picture by an unknown Castilian painter and dates it to the 17th century; states that if it is not by José Leonardo "it is clearly by some other competent Madrid painter of his time".

Juan Antonio Gaya Nuño. La pintura española fuera de España. Madrid, 1958, p. 97, no. 138, lists it among anonymous pictures from the 17th century, noting that it was first ascribed to Velázquez, and then, more credibly, to José Leonardo.

Louisine W. Havemeyer. Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector. New York, 1961, pp. 159–60, refers to it as a portrait by Velázquez that "was the admiration of Degas and of Miss Cassatt and also had the seal of authenticity of Raimundo de Madrazo who bought it for us through a dealer called Berringham".

José López-Rey. Velázquez: A Catalogue Raisonné of His Oeuvre. London, 1963, pp. 315–16, no. 567, pl. 403, observes a "masterful building of the face in space" which suggests an attribution to Velázquez, yet notes the picture has suffered too much from abrasion to determine the validity of this attribution.

María Angeles Mazón de la Torre. Jusepe Leonardo y su tiempo. Saragossa, 1977, pp. 194–95, 359, no. 32, pl. 9, attributes this portrait to Jusepe Leonardo, but later in text appears to reject this attribution; dates it 1635–40, based on similarities with the Saint Sebastian (Prado, Madrid) and two versions of Saint John the Baptist (Los Angeles County Museum of Art and National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa), also attributed to Leonardo; sees similarities with the MMA portrait of a man attributed to Velázquez's workshop (89.15.29) and a deaccessioned portrait of Olivares (89.15.30).

Eric Young. Letter to Mary Sprinson. December 27, 1982, tentatively agrees with Mazón de la Torre's [Ref. 1977] attribution to Jusepe Leonardo, noting that there are no truly comparable works among the artist's known oeuvre.

Louisine W. Havemeyer. Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector. Ed. Susan Alyson Stein. 3rd ed. [1st ed. 1930, repr. 1961]. New York, 1993, pp. 159–60, 325 n. 218.

Susan Alyson Stein in Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 286.

Gretchen Wold in Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 378, no. A481, ill., mentions a January 26, 1903 letter from Mary Cassatt to Mrs. Havemeyer which refers to a Velázquez head already in their collection.

This portrait was probably cut from a larger canvas.
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