NEW YORK—The Metropolitan Museum of Art will open a special exhibition on Tuesday Nov. 17 that will feature a newly identified painting, “Portrait of a Man” as being an original by the 17th century Spanish painter Velázquez.
The painting has hung on the walls of the Met for many years and was formerly ascribed by the Museum to the workshop of Velázquez, and only after a recent cleaning and restoration was it revealed to be an original by Velázquez. The restored piece will be shown alongside other works from the Museum’s collection of works by the great Spanish painter.
In summer of 2009, "Portrait of a Man" was taken off the walls of the gallery where it had been on view for many years and brought to the Met’s conservation studio for examination. Long obscured by thick, discolored layers of varnish and a previous restoration attempt that made it look more finished than the artist intended, the picture emerged from its cleaning as a work by the master: an informal portrait done from life, with parts left only summarily described, showing the hallmarks of Velázquez’s sure touch of the brush. The painting is now reattributed to Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (1599–1660).
Velázquez Rediscovered, is a small, focused exhibition that features other Velázquez paintings from the Metropolitan Museum’s collection. The exhibit will run from Nov. 17 2009 through Feb. 7, 2010, in the European paintings galleries on the second floor.