- Reference number
- Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y (Spanish)
- Portrait of a Man
- Ca. 1623
- 55,5 cm x 38 cm
- On display
- Royal collection
Though not conclusively identified, this was thought to be a youthful self-portrait, or possibly an image of the painter's brother, Juan. This type of portrait, a bust on a neutral background, corresponds to a customary model of portraiture in the early decades of the seventeenth century and was intended for private use.
The tight and detailed brushstrokes, rather hard modeling and very directed light, as well as the use of a very restricted palette, place this work at a turning point between Velázquez's last years in Seville and his definitive move to the Court. Moreover, the type of collar, which was made obligatory by Royal Order in 1623, helps to date this work.
The painting has not been linked to any entry in the royal inventories, probably because it has no particular distinguishing elements. In 1819 it was one of the works belonging to King Fernando VII that made up the Prado Museum.