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    Velazquez, Portrait of a Gentleman (click on image to enlarge).

    A previously unknown portrait by Velázquez highlights Bonhams sale of Old Master Paintings in London on December 7. The half length portrait of a gentlemen by the Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velázquez (1599-1660) is estimated to sell for £2,000,000-3,000,000.

    In August 2010 a number of works by the nineteenth century British artist, Matthew Shepperson, were consigned for sale at Bonhams Oxford office.  The portrait was among these works. It was withdrawn for further investigation.  The stylistic similarities to works by the great Spanish master led to extensive research by the department and consultant Brian Koetser; their views were confirmed by Dr Peter Cherry, Professor of Art History at the University of Dublin and one of the world’s foremost authorities on Velázquez and his school.  In an article published in the Spanish arts magazine ARS, Cherry writes “the particularized likeness and recognisably lifelike texture, weight and colours of the fleshy face speak of the actual encounter between  subject and painter: while the style and technical brilliance of the representation itself betrays its author”.

    Carmen Garrido, Head of Technical Services at the Prado Museum in Madrid and author of the authoritative work on the artist’s technique, Velázquez: Technica y Evolución was consulted about the painting, and technical analysis and an x-radiograph further confirm the attribution to Velázquez.

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