Trinity role in rediscovery of €3m Velázquez painting


AN ART historian at Trinity College Dublin has discovered a painting by Spanish master Diego Velázquez, worth an estimated €3 million.

Dr Peter Cherry made the discovery after a painting, thought to have been the work of a 19th-century British artist, was sent to him for examination.

After careful scrutiny, he concluded that the portrait was in fact a painting by Velázquez, a master painter of the 17th century.

The bust-length portrait of a man in a black tunic and white collar had been sent to Dr Cherry after suspicions were raised by London auctioneers about the stylistic similarities of the painting to the works of Velázquez.

The painting had nearly been sold in August 2010 as one of a number of works by British artist Matthew Shepperson, which were consigned for sale for £500 (€570) at the Oxford office of Bonhams Fine Art Auctioneers.

Considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on Velázquez, Dr Cherry said of the portrait that “the style and technical brilliance of the representation itself betrays its author”.

Following Dr Cherry’s conclusion, the painting underwent examinations by Carmen Garrido, head of technical services at the Prado museum in Madrid, as well as technical analysis and an X-ray to further validate it as the work of Velázquez.

“The discovery of this lost treasure is a once in a lifetime experience and it is tremendously exciting to be able to bring it to the world’s attention,” said Andrew McKenzie, director of old master paintings at Bonhams, where the portrait will be sold on December 7th.