Bust of a Young Woman

The Bust of a Young Woman is one of the few remaining drawings from the career of Diego Velazquez

Bust of a Young Woman Diego Velazquez

Most of the drawings from this artist's career have been lost over the years, most in the first few decades after his passing. This has resulted in a dearth of documentation about his drawings and no major research has yet been carried out to uncover more about his work in this genre.

The Bust of a Young Woman and Head of a Young Woman clearly make use of the same model, seemingly a pretty, working class young woman who the artist much have found a particular artistic interest in. The vast majority of the Velazquez drawings that remain were produced with black chalk, though it is believed that those which did not last to the present day varied in all manner of media, including charcoal and pen ink.

This drawing is now owned by the National Library in Madrid and has been mentioned in multiple literature from the 20th century, strenghening its case to be considered truly of Velazquez's hand. There are elements to this drawing which many consider proof of its attribution to Velazquez, particularly the confident but subtle outlines to this portrait and also the simplicity of the modelling.

You will see from the photograph in this page that the artwork is not in perfect condition and also has several markings that deserve investigation. What remains is still sufficient to not only attribute this accurately to Velazquez, but also to appreciate his skills as a draughtsman.

Diego Velazquez displays some raw skills as a portrait artist, capturing this beautiful young woman with relatively few lines of chalk. Her attire is truly simple, suggesting a similar background but this has never been confirmed and nor will it probably ever be. She was to appear again in his portrature work, suggesting that he was pleased with this completed artwork.