In the past on Mondays when there were no visitors and the galleries were quiet I imagine that the painting of Juan de Pareja (born about 1610, died 1670), 1650 by
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (Spanish, 1599–1660) is watching me.
Actually it does seem that his eyes follow you no matter where you stand in that room. Juan de Pareja was Velaquez’ slave who became an artist in his own right.
Sometimes when I stand in front of that painting it is like Juan and I are distant lovers, separated by time, space and centuries just waiting to be reunited. I’m in love with this Moor who has been dead over 500 years. If he were revived and transported into the 21st Century I would love be his model, muse and lover. I ache to feel his full African lips upon mine and to fun my fingers through his kinky, nappy, thick curly hair.
Sometimes if I stand there long enough I imagine his desire for me compels him to step out of the painting and take me in his arms, but right before he does, one of the staff from European paintings walks through and the spell is broken.
Source: Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez: Juan de Pareja (born about 1610, died 1670) (1971.86) | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art