THE Metropolitan Museum in New York has unearthed another painting by Diego Velazquez in its collection, bringing the total number of works they hold by the Spanish master to six.
The moody oil painting known as Knight Marquand, donated to the museum in 1889 by Henry G. Marquand, was identified by Spanish expert Javier Portus, head of Conservation of Spanish Painting pre-1700 at the illustrious Prado in Madrid.
Previously the work had been tentatively attributed to Juan Bautista Martinez del Mazo, Velazquez’s son-in-law, who was also a painter.
The museum is suitably cautious but Portus says he is confident it is by Sevilla’s most famous son.
“I think it is a Velazquez. It is a work that has always caught my eye at the Met and it deserves attention.
“It is a portrait with quite remarkable qualities, and to me and my collaborators, it seems plausible that Velazquez is the author,” he said.
Portus believes the painting was completed in 1649 or 1650 during Velazquez’s second trip to Italy and that the subject may have been Juan de Cordoba, King Felipe IV’s business agent in Rome, who spent most of his time collecting classical sculptures for the royal household in Madrid.
Velazquez, born in 1599, was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV, and one of the most important painters of the Spanish Golden Age.