Rearing Horse and Rider.



Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo (1612–1667).


Rearing Horse and Rider.


Pen and wash on paper, 7½ x 5 in.

This is a preparatory drawing for The Staghunt at Aranjuez, a major painting by Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo, an assistant to, and later son-in-law of, Spanish painter Diego Velázquez. The painting hangs in the Prado Museum and had been commissioned by King Phillip IV of Spain, for whom del Mazo became court painter. The horse and rider can be found at the right center of the painting, almost exactly as drawn.

I purchased the drawing at Rockman’s Gallery on First Avenue in the mid-fifties, when I was a sixteen-year-old high school art student in New York. On the day of my purchase, I noticed a gentleman nearby who seemed rather interested in this del Mazo. He exclaimed, rather loudly, “Young man, you’re not interested in that drawing, are you?” Little did I know that he was the eminent director of the Prado, Francisco Javier Sánchez Cantón. In all my acquisitions, I research them afterwards, and I subsequently discovered the wisdom of my choice that day, and the reason for his apparent dismay.


Martin Hutner