- Reference number
- Sorolla y Bastida, Joaquín (Spanish)
- María Figuero, the girl, dressed as a Menina
- 151,5 cm x 121 cm
- On display
- Acquisition, 2001
A full-length portrait of nine-year-old María Figueroa, the daughter of Rodrigo Figueroa y Torres, Duke of Tovar and friend of the artist. She appears here dressed like a seventeenth-century menina.
The mark of Velasquez is visible not only in the subject matter but also in the Sorolla's palette based on reds, ochres, whites and silvers, which is thus quite similar to that used by Velasquez in his finest female portraits. The rendering of the image, however, is absolutely modern and unusual for the period, with free and highly plastic brushstrokes that sometimes leave the canvas's priming uncovered and visible to the eye, due to the abundant use of solvent in the brush.
This work remained in private hands from the time it was painted until its entry into the Prado Museum. It is a singular example of the Valencian painter's understanding of traditional Spanish painting, through the works of Velasquez which he came to known at the Prado Museum.