Portrait of a Child with a Dog
29 1/2 x 25 in. (74.9 x 63.5 cm)
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Gift of Miss Helen C. Ellwanger
Location: Not currently on view
Portraits often include visual elements similar to those used by other painters of the period. The landscape and the rich drapery behind the child suggest a Spanish origin. Based on these elements as well as the treatment of the child’s face, one scholar has suggested that MAG’s Child with a Dog could be the work of Juan Battista Martinez del Mazo, the son-in-law of the most famous Spanish painter of the mid-1600s, Diego Velázquez. After his father-in-law’s death, Mazo succeeded Velázquez as the official painter to the royal family; many of his portraits were of children, and many made use of similar background landscapes and drapery. We believe now that this work is by a painter active among the Spanish nobility during the mid-17th century, a period marked by prosperity and a flourishing of the arts known as Spain’s Golden Age.
[Label text from It Came From the Vault exhibition, 2013]