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Self-portrait
González Velázquez, Zacarías
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González Velázquez, Zacarías

Madrid, 1763 - Madrid, 1834

González Velázquez, Zacarías See author's file

Self-portrait

1810 - 1813. Oil on canvas. Not on display

A member of a dynasty of artists that began with his grandfather, the sculptor Pablo González Velázquez (1664-1727), Zacarías González Velázquez initially trained with his father, the painter Antonio González Velázquez (1723-94). In 1777, he joined the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, an institution to which he remained tied for the rest of his life, which included being named for various posts culminating in Director General, a title he held from 1828 to 1831. Likewise, his active appointment as court painter to the king was made official in July of 1802 (after he had held the title for a year in an honorary capacity), and he served in that role under Charles IV, Joseph I (Joseph Bonaparte) and Ferdinand VII. Within the parameters of official academicism, González was able to assimilate a neoclassical orientation without having left the country and he proved to be a versatile painter, producing cartoons for the Royal Tapestry Manufactory, decorating rooms in the royal palaces and churches with frescoes, in addition to executing numerous canvases of religious imagery and portraits. In this latter genre, his self-portraits stand out. Several have survived, dated between 1802 and 1823. Curiously, all are very similar with regard to composition, dress and pose, enabling us to recognise more easily the effects of time and circumstances on his person. In this self-portrait, which was owned by the artist´s descendants until it was acquired by the State in 1990, González appears to be around 50 years old. He wears a heavy, dark redingote and a white shirt with a high collar wrapped in a cravat of the same colour. It is a bust-length portrait before a neutral background, with the artist´s head turned in a three-quarter view. His expression is grave and serious, betraying a certain haughtiness that may perhaps be associated with the penetrating air that was, according to members of his family, characteristic of him. The expression is concentrated in his eyes, which have a sad and weary look, reinforced by the heavy bags under them. González´s interest in creating a highly individualistic image of himself surpasses the tendency toward idealisation that was typical of neoclassical art. He has not endeavoured to hide the creases beneath his eyebrows, nor the wrinkles in the corners of his eyes and at the centre of his brow, all signs of the painter´s age. The same may be said of the two moles near his mouth, a detail that makes it clear he used a mirror in his self-portraits, for portraits of him by others place those moles on the other side of his face, as in the painting signed by his pupil Antonio Mercar in 1828 (now in the Museu Nacional d´Art de Catalunya in Barcelona). In this work, he is unaccompanied by any attribute that would allow us to identify him as an artist, unlike his other known self-portraits or the portraits he painted of sculptors Pedro Hermoso (in the former Marquis de Casa Torres Collection) and Francisco Elías Vallejo (Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, Madrid) around the same time; or, for that matter, the 1825 portrait of González´s brother Isidro (Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, Madrid), by Vicente López (1772–1850). Thus, the viewer is obliged to focus on his face and head, which is endowed with a sculptural quality because of the light, which sharpens his outline against the neutral background as well as creating a sense of spatial depth. The lighting, the austere composition, sober palette and the painter´s attitude all evoke a melancholy spirit approaching that of romantic portraiture, yet the precise line and tight, minute brushwork, even in the application of shadows, root this painting in the academic current of which González was an outstanding exponent (Albarrán, V.: Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado, Queensland Art Gallery-Art Exhibitions Australia, 2012, p. 198).

Technical data

Inventory number
P007492
Author
González Velázquez, Zacarías
Title
Self-portrait
Date
1810 - 1813
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimension
Height: 59 cm.; Width: 46 cm.
Provenance
Acquisition for the Prado Museum, 1990.

Bibliography +

La pintura de historia del siglo XIX en España, La pintura de historia del siglo XIX en España., Consorcio Madrid 92Museo del Prado, 1992, pp. 80-81 , nº2.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Pintura española del siglo XIX: del neoclasicismo al modernismo : obras maestras del Museo del Prado y colecciones españolas, Ministerio de Cultura, Dirección General de Cooperación Cultural, Madrid, 1992, pp. 80-81.

Museo del Prado, Últimas adquisiciones: 1982-1995, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1995, pp. 98-99, nº 41.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, III, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1996.

Mano, José Manuel de la, Un artículo inédito del arqueólogo José Ramón Mélida sobre el pintor Zacarías González Velázquez, Boletín de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, 83, 1996, pp. 373-394 [386].

Artistas pintados: retratos de pintores y escultores del siglo XIX en el Museo del Prado, Ministerio de Educación y Cultura, Dirección Gener, Madrid, 1997, pp. 66-67, nº2.

Nuñez, Bertha, Zacarías González Velázquez (1763-1834), Fundación Arte Hispánico, Madrid, 2000, pp. 216.

Luna, J. J., Autorretrato (h. 1810-1813). En: Barón, J.: El retrato español en el Prado. De Goya a Sorolla, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2007, pp. 72, n. 8.

Isidro Velázquez, 1765-1840: arquitecto del Madrid fernandino / edición a cargo de Pedro Moleón Gavilanes; textos Francisco José Marín Perellón., Ayuntamiento de Madrid, Madrid, 2009.

Barón, J, El auge del retrato en el siglo XIX. En: Ruíz Gómez, L.; Barón, J. El retrato español en el Prado. Del Greco a Sorolla, En: Ruíz Gómez, L.; Barón, J. El retrato español en el Prado. Del Greco a Sorolla, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2010, pp. 35.

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from The Prado, Queensland Art Gallery, 2012, pp. 198-199, nº59.

Díez, J.L (dir.), Pintura del Siglo XIX en el Museo del Prado: catálogo general, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2015, pp. 242.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2248.
Autor: González Velázquez, Zacarías / 2248. Título: Autorretrato / Tipo de obra: pintura / técnica/soporte: óleo sobre lienzo. / medidas: 0,59 x 0,46 m. / nº de catálogo: P07492. / Observaciones: etiquetas al dorso: / 1) '27. Depósitos. Doña Soledad Nogueira Velázquez'. 2) 'Fundaciones Vega Inclán. Inventario 1959, 705' / Adquirido por el Estado por derecho de tanteo en la subasta de E. Peel y asociados S.A. de 31-V-1990 (Lote25), en 1.474.720 pts. / O.M. 5-VI-1990. Ingresado en el museo el 16-VII-1990.

Exhibitions +

Meta-painting. A Journey to the Idea of Art
15.11.2016 - 19.02.2017

Máscaras - Schommer
Madrid
22.07.2014 - 14.09.2014

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Houston
16.12.2012 - 31.03.2013

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Houston TX
15.12.2012 - 31.03.2013

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Brisbane
22.07.2012 - 04.11.2012

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Brisbane, Australia
21.07.2012 - 04.11.2012

El retrato español en el Prado. Del Greco a Sorolla
01.10.2010 - 08.01.2011

Ysidro Velázquez (1765-1840), arquitecto del Madrid fernandino
Madrid
28.05.2009 - 26.07.2009

El retrato español en el Prado. De Goya a Sorolla
La Coruña
11.06.2008 - 07.09.2008

El retrato español en el Prado. De Goya a Sorolla
Toledo
12.03.2008 - 25.05.2008

El retrato español en el Prado. De Goya a Sorolla
Salamanca
18.12.2007 - 24.02.2008

El retrato español en el Prado. De Goya a Sorolla
Murcia
03.10.2007 - 02.12.2007

El retrato español en el Prado. De Goya a Sorolla
Valencia
12.06.2007 - 02.09.2007

El retrato español en el Prado. De Goya a Sorolla
Bilbao
05.03.2007 - 20.05.2007

Artistas pintados: Retratos de pintores y escultores del siglo XIX
México D.F.
23.04.1998 - 22.06.1998

Artistas pintados: Retratos de pintores y escultores del siglo XIX
Logroño
10.01.1998 - 02.02.1998

Artistas pintados: Retratos de pintores y escultores del siglo XIX
Valencia
13.11.1997 - 06.01.1998

Artistas pintados: Retratos de pintores y escultores del siglo XIX
Valladolid
09.09.1997 - 12.10.1997

Artistas pintados: Retratos de pintores y escultores del siglo XIX
Gijón
25.07.1997 - 03.09.1997

Artistas pintados: Retratos de pintores y escultores del siglo XIX
La Coruña
12.07.1997 - 20.07.1997

Artistas pintados: Retratos de pintores y escultores del siglo XIX
Santander
08.05.1997 - 03.06.1997

Artistas pintados: Retratos de pintores y escultores del siglo XIX
Madrid
12.03.1997 - 17.04.1997

Pintura española del siglo XIX. Del neoclasicismo al modernismo
Bilbao
03.04.1992 - 17.05.1992

Displayed objects +

Clothing / Dress

Update date: 12-03-2020 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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