The Vanishing Man

Hear art critic Laura Cumming discuss how a Velázquez painting changed both her life and that of John Snare’s – the Victorian bookseller’s at the heart of her latest novel, ‘The Vanishing Man: In Pursuit of Velázquez’, a compelling synthesis of detective story and biography. 

Snare came across a dirt-blackened portrait of a prince at a country house auction in 1845. Suspecting that it might be a long-lost Velázquez, he bought the picture and set out to discover its strange history. When Cumming stumbled across the story, it sent her on a quest of her own, following him from London to Edinburgh and 19th-century New York, and from triumph to ruin.

Cumming is joined by Letizia Treves, Curator of Italian and Spanish Paintings 1600–1800, to consider how and why Velázquez’s paintings mesmerise us and why some were overlooked and misattributed for centuries.

For more information and to book tickets visit

Duration 10 June 2016 - 10 June 2016
Times Friday 10 June, 6.30–7.30pm
Cost £7/£6 concession/£5 Members
Venue The National Gallery
Address Trafalgar Square London WC2N5DN, ,
Contact 02077472885 / /

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