A painting by one of the most famous of the so-called old masters, Velazquez, is to be auctioned in London on Friday (November the 27th).
A painting by one of the most famous of the so-called old masters, Velazquez, is to be auctioned in London on Friday (November the 27th). Experts believe it may bring more the GBP1 million (2.4 m. dollars).
The painting, entitled portrait of Juan de Pareja, is of Velazquez' part-negro assistant. It is believed to have been painted in 1649.
The painting will be auctioned by the London art dealers Christie's. Christie's will not speculate on the price the painting will bring, but art experts and dealers say it could be the first painting to bring GBP1 million.
The painting is being sold on behalf of the Earl of Radnor whose family has owned is since 1811. The Earl is selling the picture in his capacity as executor of the estate of his father, the 7th Earl, who died in 1968, to discharge death duties in relation to gifts made by his father before his death. Christie's sold the painting once before, in 1801, for GBP41 (90 dollars). It was sold for Sir William Hamilton, husband of Lord Nelson's mistress, Lady Emma Hamilton.
The portrait is one of the few masterpieces by Velazquez in private hands. Velazquez is one of the most renowned of the 17th century Old Masters and his works are much rarer than those of Rembrandt of Rubens. Velazquez was born in Seville, Spain, in 1599 and was appointed to the court 24 years later. In 1648 he travelled to Italy to buy works of art for the King of Spain and took with him his assistant, Pareja.
Pope Innocent X commissioned Velazquez to paint his portrait -- it hangs today in the palace of the Doria family -- but before painting it, and perhaps prepare himself for it, Velazquez painted Pareja. This painting was exhibited in 1650 and greatly admired.