Portrait of Gaspar de Borja y Velasco Diego Velazquez Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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This portrait sketch by Diego Velazquez is amongst a very short list of drawings that have been confidently attributed to this famous Spanish artist

Little research has been completed on his work in this medium leaving very few artworks definitively marked as his own. Until more work is done, this status will clearly not change. Whilst Velazquez will always be best known for his oil paintings, it is drawings such as this which underline his qualities as a draughtsman.

Velazquez's influences included Titian, Caravaggio and Peter Paul Rubens. There are many who then used his work as inspiration for their own, such as Pablo Picasso, Edouard Manet and James Whistler.

Portrait of Gaspar de Borja y Velasco was constructed from black chalk on cream laid paper and was produced between 1637 and 1645. This drawing is 186cm by 117cm and can be found in the collection of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid, Spain. The Spanish capital holds many of Velazquez's artworks, spread evenly between multiple museums and art galleries to be found in this art-centric city.

This prestigious venue also holds work by the likes of Giovanni Bellini, Antonio Allegri da Correggio, Peter Paul Rubens, Zurbarán, Murillo, Jean Honore Fragonare and Goya. A huge number of famous Spanish artists have passed through its doors over the centuries and learnt much of their trade here.

In the periods of the Renaissance and Baroque eras many artists would seek to buy or loan artworks by famous names in order to study their work and incorporate some of the ideas into their own style. Several significant Spanish artists who followed on after Velazquez are known to have produced their own hand drawn copies of this particular drawing.