Velazquez portrait makes US debut

New York, April 16 (IANS/EFE) New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art presented Monday Diego Velazquez’s Portrait of Francesco I d’Este, one of the Spanish artist’s most significant works and which is being shown for the first time in the US.

“This is one of the most important portraits by Velazquez, since in portraying an important political figure it fuses the most intimate personality of the duke that the painter captured in his studio with the nobleman’s diplomatic side,” chairman of European paintings at the Met, Keith Christiansen, told EFE.

Until July 14, visitors at the New York museum will be able to admire this work, considered one of the great portraits of the 17th century, on loan from Galleria Estense in Modena, Italy.

The portrait is a true gem of that Italian gallery, which has had to close temporarily because of the damage caused by the earthquake that shook the Emilia Romagna region in May 2012.

“The painting is a symbol of that Modena gallery,” Christiansen said, and therefore its arrival in New York also serves to “emphasize the real situation of many buildings in the area after the damage caused by the earthquake”.

This is the first time this portrait by Velazquez is being shown in the US, and the Met expects a big turnout of art lovers to see it.

“Velazquez is one of those painters that everybody loves, that everybody reacts to,” Christiansen said.



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