- Museum number
Portrait of a man with long hair, seen from the front
Pen and brown ink
- Production date
- 1655-1660 (c.)
Height: 96 millimetres
Width: 75 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Formerly attributed to Velázquez but always believed to be unlikely by his hand.
Taken from Mena Marqués 2015:
The letter on the verso is about daily issues not related to the drawing, most probably the artist re-used the paper, as he did in the sketch of the Inmaculada Concepción (Prado), where he used the verso of a letter that Zurbarán wrote to him.
Mena Marqués has attributed this drawing to Murillo on the basis that the style and technique are clearly related to Murillo's pen drawings 1655-60. The shading, with the sort of parallel lines that Murillo started to use under the influence of Herrera el Viejo, can be seen, for example in the preparatory drawing for San Isidoro (1655, Louvre). These wide pen lines are combined with the precision of the fine, swift and wavy lines of the hair, face and left side of the jerkin. Mena Marqués especially draws attention to the way in which Murillo has drawn the eyes: the fine crosswise lines over the round underlying features of the eyes can be seen in the above-mentioned San Isidoro drawing, but also in the drawings of St John the Baptist with the lamb (c.1656, Getty) and the archangel Michael (1873,0614.216).
The identification of the sitter is reasonable because of the similarity with known portraits. It is possible that the inscription on the bottom left corner with 'Retrato de Velazquez' is in the hand of Carderera, who would have sold it to Clausen. But it is equally likely that Clausen bought it from Ceán Bérmudez's collection, since many of his drawings did come from it. Ceán had a special preference for artists' portraits which he used for his 'Diccionario'; he had also lived in Seville and dedicated an important part of his book to talking about Murillo's training as a draughtsman.
It is not possible to date the drawing more precisely, but the style and technique indicate that it was made c. 1655-60. It is difficult to know if he drew it before leaving Seville for Madrid in 1658, or once he had arrived in the Royal court, in which case it would have been from life. The physiognomy and personality are so well caught and expressed, that it is plausible to think that Murillo made the sketch in front of the sitter. Mena Marqués guesses that it could have conceived as a model for a print, on the pattern of the many printed portraits of Flemish artists of the period that Murillo knew well.
Lit.: R. Schilling (ed.), 'Die von Edmund Schilling gesammelten Zeichnungen', published privately, Edgware, 1982, p. 237, 'Das kleine Album', no. 68.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- In 1997, the Museum acquired on the death of Mrs Rosi Schilling the majority of a collection of mostly northern Old Master drawings assembled by her late husband the curator and later drawings dealer and adviser, Edmund Schilling (1888-1974). Schilling was born in Germany and came to Britain in 1937 after the rise of the Nazis. He was prominent as a specialist in German Old Master drawings and his widow’s bequest in his memory was predominantly made up of studies that he had collected in this field. Given its importance, the Museum accepted the bequest for public benefit in good faith, and has afterwards researched its history, insofar as it has been able. There remain however many works in the bequest with uncertain or incomplete provenance for the years 1933-45 and the Museum welcomes information and assistance in the investigation and clarification of the provenance of these works during that era.
Together with 1997,0712.102, this was stuck into a volume of Curtis' biography of Velasquez and Murillo, which belonged to the artist Sir George Clausen who annotated the drawing: 'Portrait of Velasquez from Cardarera's Coll'. This drawing was acquired by Edmund Schilling for a small album (no. 68) that he compiled for his wife, Rosi Schilling (see for further details 1997,0713.1; for the original album, see 159.b.28).
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number