Monday, May 23, 2011

Lost Painting Possibly by Valazquez

A painting was recently unearthed from a storage facility at Yale University by a junior curator named John Marciari. The painting, a damaged rendition of St. Anne teaching a young Virgin Mary to read, was identified only as Anonymous, Spanish School, 17th century. 

Marciari spent five years researching the painting, including consultations and analysis by experts, and then published his findings in the arts journal Ars in July 2010. He claimed that the painting seems to be the work of Valazquez. The story of the newly found painting hit newspapers around the world, including Spain’s leading daily newspaper, El Pais. In Spain, Valazquez holds a notoriety more renowned than all of the kings of Spain and he is considered the figure of Spain’s Golden Age, so this was big news.
There’s still a lot of controversy considering the attribution of this painting, some still not believing that it is by Valazquez, but rather an anonymous artist of the same period in Seville, Spain. The painting was on exhibit at the Yale Art Gallery for ten weeks from December 2010. Currently, the museum is trying to decide how to handle the restoration in a non-obtrusive way.
It would really be amazing if it were a true Valazquez. It will take a lot of work to refurbish the painting. A head was cut off at the top, so I can't imagine that they would be able to replace it.
Reference; Smithsonian Magazine, April 2011