"The discovery of this extraordinarily beautiful portrait is a fascinating story in its own right. In August 2010 a number of works by the nineteenth century British artist, Matthew Shepperson, were consigned for sale at Bonhams Oxford office. Among these works was a portrait of a gentleman, which was brought to our attention in the Old Master Paintings department in London.
We advised the Oxford saleroom to withdraw it from sale for further investigation. The stylistic similarities to works by the great Spanish master were striking. We conducted our own extensive research, consulted many experts about the painting and commissioned technical analysis. An x-radiograph further confirmed the attribution.
Velázquez is one of the greatest geniuses in the entire history of Western art. The discovery of this lost treasure is a once in a lifetime experience and it has been tremendously exciting to be able to bring it to the world's attention."
Director of Old Master Paintings at Bonhams