Most scholars believe this self-portrait to be a genuine Velázquez although its poor condition makes it difficult to be absolutely certain. There is also some doubt as to Velázquez's age in this image, making the date vary. Most experts agree that he must have been about fifty years old meaning that it was painted around 1650. It is even thought that it could have been painted in Rome as the expression and eyes have similarities to those in the magnificent portrait of [Juan de Pareja#CUADROS_en#255]. Velázquez's bust is silhouetted against a neutral background to create a sense of volume, as Titian and Tintoretto had done during the Renaissance. The colouring is very dark, highlighting the face with a powerful beam of light from the left. The execution is very free, so much so that the brush strokes are visible in the image, as if Velázquez were an exponent of Impressionism.