Trinity Lecturer Discovers Velázquez Portrait

Posted on: 02 November 2011

A lecturer in  History of Art at Trinity College Dublin, Dr Peter Cherry,  has discovered a previously unknown portrait by the Spanish painter Diego Velázquez. He made the discovery after a photograph of the painting, thought to have been the work of a minor 19th-century British artist Matthew Shepperson, was sent to him for an opinion.

After extensive examination of the portrait, including technical analysis and X-radiographs, Dr Cherry felt confident in attributing the painting to Velázquez and dating it to the period 1631-35, just after the artist’s study trip to Italy. The male sitter is represented bust length in a plain white collar and black jacket, and, although his identity is currently unknown, may have been a member of the artist’s circle of friends at court.

Dr Cherry’s findings were published in the recent issue of Ars Magazine. The discovery is of some importance, given the canonical status of the artist and the relatively small number of works known by him.

The portrait will be sold in London on December 7th next by Bonhams Fine Art Auctioneers, where it has an estimate of €3 million.