September 18, 2012
By Jamie Stengle
DALLAS (AP) — In preparing an exhibit on 17th century artist Diego Velazquez's early work for Spain's King Philip IV, art historians believe they discovered that a portrait by the Spanish master at Dallas' Meadows Museum is likely his first of his lifelong patron....
Velazquez became the king's court painter in 1623, when he was only 24. It was a job he would hold until his death in 1660 at the age of 61. The exhibit focuses on his first decade working for the king.
For the first time in four centuries, the Dallas exhibit brings together two of Velazquez's early portraits of the king: the Prado's full-length portrait of him dressed all in black that was painted in the 1620s and the Meadow's bust-length portrait.
In anticipation of the show, both portraits underwent analysis at the Prado. X-rays of the Meadows portrait showed brush strokes indicating Velazquez was working out how to paint the king, helping back up the belief that it could have been his initial attempt.
"Now we think more than ever that it was the first portrait," said Mark Roglan, director of the Meadows....