17th-Century Painting Is a Velázquez, After All

Portrait of Philip IV goes back on display at the Met
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 21, 2010 12:41 PM CST
Spain's Philip IV, as painted by Diego Vel?zquez.   (AP Photo/Museo del Barrio)

(Newser) – A Velázquez painting of Spain’s Philip IV has been redeemed after more than three decades of uncertainty. In 1973, the work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was called inauthentic, likely the work of one of the Spanish master’s disciples. But after a year’s restoration, experts say the painting is, in fact, the work of Velázquez, the New York Times reports. It went back on display today.

“One of the greatest painters of Western tradition—and a royal portrait to boot—is vindicated,” said the New York City museum’s head of European paintings. The 7-foot-tall image of Philip at age 18 is the king’s first known portrait by the painter’s hand. Restoration was an impressive feat; Philip had been missing an eye and had been painted over in earlier restoration efforts. But it was worthwhile, revealing details that suggested its authenticity.

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