National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of The Needlewoman Diego Velázquez (artist)
Spanish, 1599 - 1660
The Needlewoman, c. 1640/1650
oil on canvas
overall: 74 x 60 cm (29 1/8 x 23 5/8 in.) framed: 102.2 x 88.3 x 7.6 cm (40 1/4 x 34 3/4 x 3 in.)
Andrew W. Mellon Collection
1937.1.81
Not on View
From the Tour: Spanish Painting in the Seventeenth Century
Object 5 of 7

Conservation Notes

The painting is on a relatively coarsely woven fabric and adhered to a very coarsely woven, heavyweight canvas. It has been reduced in size along all four edges and later expanded again. A 3/4-inch band of the original surface was once made to serve as a tacking margin, but later returned to the picture surface. Heavy retouching covering this portion of the picture was removed during treatment in 1988. Mild cusping at the edges suggests that the present format is roughly the same as the original. The ground layer is a warm red brown, applied very thinly, leaving the tops of the threads exposed. A sketch of the composition with black paint was laid in over the ground color, and is still slightly visible at the left. In the pillow at the lower left, the ground is exposed. Some pentimenti are evident, particularly around the unfinished hands. Other pentimenti are located in the neckline of the dress and at the lower left of the sitter's hair. The painting is in good condition, although there are small, inpainted losses scattered over the painting and light abrasions, particularly in the background and pillow.

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