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article imageAncient painting found in basement at Yale may be a Velázquez

By Igor I. Solar     Jul 2, 2010 in Entertainment
New Haven - Reports on the finding published in the Spanish media and in the online edition of "Ars Magazine" put forward the hypothesis that the painting "Education of the Virgin" is a work from the Seville period of the Spanish genius Diego Velásquez.
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (1599 -1660) is best known for his masterpiece Las Meninas (1656). He is also the author of the famous painting Las Hilanderas (The Spinners) and Los Borrachos (The Drunks).
The discovery was made by John Marciari, Head of European Art of the San Diego Museum of Fine Arts, in a basement of the Museum of Art at Yale University.
Based on an analysis of style, technique and composition, Marciari concluded that "the work was painted around 1617, during the early years of the painter's career. This is the most significant discovery that has been made about the artist's work in the last century” says El País.
The painting The Education of the Virgin is in the museum's restoration workshop at Yale, because of the damage it has suffered having remained in poor storage conditions at the Museum’s basement. Marciari explains: “The painting is missing at least 25 inches from the top and unspecified sections of the left and bottom edges"
The restoration work will not begin until experts endorse authorship of Velázquez. However, Marciari is highly confident that the painting is in fact a Velázquez because the canvas used in this painting is exactly the same type as that used in other paintings by Velázquez included The Adoration of the Magi (1619), Portrait of Mother Jerónima de la Fuente (1620) and Imposición de la casulla a San Ildefonso (1623).
Velázquez  masterpiece Las Meninas (The Maids of Honour) is in Museum El Prado  Madrid. The painter...
Velázquez' masterpiece Las Meninas (The Maids of Honour) is in Museum El Prado, Madrid. The painter included himself in the work (center, left).
In his analysis of the work, Marciari mentions that there is little documentation on the work of Velázquez during his early Seville period. This painting was likely kept during the first half of the decade of the 1920’s at the Convent of the Carmelites of Santa Ana in Seville. Because of a flood, the painting would have been taken down from its location near the main altar and moved to a safe place within the church.
According to Marciari the work may have arrived in the United States around 1925 on a vessel of Charles Townshend’s shipping company. Archives of Yale show that the brothers Henry and Raynham Townshend, former Yale students, donated to the University “two framed Spanish oil paintings on canvas of the seventeenth century on religious themes".
An article detailing the discovery will be published in the next printed issue of the journal Ars Magazine.
A picture of "Education of the Virgin" can be seen here.
More about Diego vel zquez, Yale university, Marciari
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