Tory Historian was thrilled to read yesterday in the Evening Standard that a previously unknown portrait by Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez has been found among various paintings by a little known British artist, Matthew Shepperson, whose own work, about to be auctioned is unlikely to bring in more than a few hundred pounds apiece.
Portrait of a gentleman, bust-length, in a black tunic and white collar, was previously owned by 19th Century British artist Matthew Shepperson.The portrait will be auctioned in December by Bonhams and is expected to fetch £3 million. As a corollary, there may well be a renewed interest in Matthew Shepperson's work as well, an example of which, the 1828 portrait of John Childs is here.
It was discovered after a number of artworks by Shepperson were consigned for sale last year.
Further examination and an x-ray confirmed the work to be Velazquez.
The painting first came to attention when the current owner - a descendant of Shepperson - brought the works to Bonhams auction house in Oxford. In-house experts noticed the stylistic similarities to works by the Spanish master Velazquez.
It led to extensive research which was confirmed by Dr Peter Cherry - professor of art history at the University of Dublin and one of the world's foremost authorities on Velazquez - and then by the Prado Museum in Madrid, which carried out the technical analysis.