Returned to lender The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.
Velázquez (Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez) Spanish
Not on view
Although Velázquez painted informal portraits of male sitters throughout his career, female likenesses are rare in his oeuvre. This enchanting image is the artist's only portrait of a child who was not a member of the royal family. The directness and immediacy of the likeness are the result of chromatic simplicity and a seemingly effortless handling of the brush. By leaving the girl's dress unfinished, Velázquez has portrayed the sequence of his pictorial process as well as his subject. He has conveyed the tenderness of the girl's skin and captured the silkiness of her hair so masterfully that the image transcends illusion and makes its beguiling subject startlingly present.