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One of the greatest pleasures of an art lover is to discover the message of an artist that the painting keeps. And what if there was more than 1 artist who has touched the canvas?
We have an exclusive opportunity to examine the case with one of the pearls of recent Sotheby’s Master Painting Evening Sale in New York in close detail.
So what is it – a multimillion-worth work by genius of Diego Velázquez or an unwanted collaboration?
The painting in question is a portrait of Christoforo Segni, Maggiordomo to Pope Innocent X, made in the middle of 17th century.
It is quite a rare example for fine art auction sales of the highest rank – an artwork with a joint authorship. And the first name here could not be more impressive – Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez, the greatest Spanish baroque painter. And then suddenly there is an addition (so bitter and unwelcome by art business folks I’m sure). Pietro Martire Neri – quite an average Italian artist from the same epoch whose name was unfamiliar even for many art scholars.
How that happened and for what reason did Pietro Martire Neri decided to make his own contributions to the portrait initiated by Velázquez? We can now only make our suggestions and dig deep in libraries in search of some evidence of that story. However, we may be quite certain in at least saying who painted what in this portrait by just giving it a closer attentive look.
Head by Velázquez? Hands by Martire Neri? Dress? Curtain? That ugly blackish hat?
Not only it is utterly captivating to pursue this investigation of an outstanding art piece but also it leads to breath-taking discoveries how all that “third party” interventions in the original idea affected the value (and not to mention price) of this picture for centuries ahead.
So I welcome every art enthusiast to watch my dedicated video to test your own eye of a connoisseur.