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Souvenir of Velázquez, Las Meninas

Hercules Brabazon Brabazon (1821-1906)


Watercolour and bodycolour

13 ¼ x 10 inches

'Chris Beetles Summer Show 2024', Chris Beetles Gallery, London, June-September 2024, no 35

The figure in this study is María Agustina Sarmiento de Sotomayor, one of Las Meninas or ‘ladies-in-waiting’ in the picture of the same name by Velázquez. She offers a drink to the Infanta Margaret Theresa, who is the focal point of the painting.

Brabazon first visited Madrid in 1848, encountering the work of Velázquez at the Museo del Prado. Las Meninas has been part of the collection since the museums conception but was officially registered with this name in the 1843 catalogue, just a few years before Brabazon would paint this souvenir.

Due to its size and value the painting is never loaned, and the only time it left the Prado is during the evacuation in the last months of the Spanish Civil War. Therefore, we can be certain that Brabazon studied this important picture amongst works by Velázquez that influenced his own work.

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