Portrait of a Man

Possibly by Velázquez Spanish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 625

This portrait’s authorship, date, and sitter have all been debated since its arrival at The Met in 1889. In recent years, two dominant theories have emerged: that it represents a Spaniard painted by Velázquez in Italy during his journey of 1649 to 1651, or that it is one of the best works by Velázquez’s son-in-law and emulator, Juan Bautista Del Mazo. Technical examination reveals that its canvas weave and ground preparation are very close to Velázquez’s Portrait of Juan de Pareja (on view nearby) and its underdrawing is consistent with Velázquez. In the less likely scenario that Mazo is the author, it would attest to how artists could adopt a house style such that their own identity was deliberately hidden.

Portrait of a Man, Possibly by Velázquez (Spanish, Seville 1599–1660 Madrid), Oil on canvas

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