Baroque and Rococo


Baroque and Rococo Art Map

Bartolome Esteban Murillo



baptized January 1, 1618, Sevilla, Spain
died April 3, 1682, Sevilla

the most popular Baroque religious painter of 17th-century Spain, noted for his idealized, sometimes preciousmanner. Among his chief patrons were the religious orders, especially the Franciscans, and the confraternities in Sevilla (Seville) and Andalusia.

Among Murillo's earliest works is the Virgin of the Rosary (c. 1642). In the vestigial style of his artistically conservative Sevillian master, Juan del Castillo, this early work combines 16th-century Italian Mannerism and Flemish realism. The 11 paintings that originally hung in the small cloister of San Francisco in Sevilla—e.g., the Ecstasy of St. Diego of Alcalá (1646)—are executed in the more contemporary naturalistic style of the Sevillian school, established by Diego Velázquezand continued by Francisco de Zurbarán. That series is characterized by realism and tenebrism (contrasting light and shade) and use of commonplace models, with an emphasis on genre or scenes of everyday life.

In the 1650s a striking transformation of style occurred, usually attributed to a visit to Madrid, where Murillo undoubtedly met Velázquez and studied the works of Titian, Rubens, and Van Dyck in the royal collections. The softly modeled forms, rich colours, and broad brushwork of the 1652 Immaculate Conception reflect direct visual contact with the art of the 16th-century Venetians and the Flemish Baroque painters. The St. Leandro and St. Isidoro (1655) are even further removed from the simple naturalism of his earlier Franciscan saints. These seated figures, more than life size, are in the grand manner of Baroque portraiture, which had become fashionable at the Spanish court.

The Vision of St. Anthony (1656), one of Murillo's most celebrated pictures, is an early example of his so-called “vaporous” style, which was derived from Venetian painting.In 1660 Murillo was one of the founders and first president of the Academy of Painting in Sevilla. During the two following decades he executed several important commissions, generally representing dramatized genre on a grand scale. From 1678 onward Murillo worked on another series of paintings, for the Hospicio de Venerables Sacerdotes in Sevilla, which included the celebrated Soult Immaculate Conception (1678). Murillo's late style is exemplified by his unfinished works for the Capuchin church at Cádiz and the Two Trinities (popularly known as the “Holy Family”). The often mystical significance of his subjects is countered by the idealized reality of his figures based on familiar human archetypes, with natural gestures and tender, devout expressions, creating an effect of intimate rather than exalted religious sentiment.

Murillo had many pupils and innumerable followers. His paintings were copied and imitated throughout Spain and its empire. He was the first Spanish painter to achieve widespread European fame, and until the 19th century he was the only Spanish artist whose works were extensively known outside the Hispanic world.



The Young Beggar

c. 1645
Oil on canvas, 134 x 100 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris



St Francis of Assisi at Prayer

Oil on canvas, 182 x 129 cm
O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp


Joseph and Potiphar's Wife

Oil on canvas, 197 x 254 cm
Staatliche Museen, Kassel


Joseph and Potiphar's Wife
Oil on canvas
Staatliche Museen, Kassel


Boys Eating Fruit (Grape and Melon Eaters)

Oil on canvas, 146 x 104 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich


Angels' Kitchen

Oil on canvas, 180 x 450 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris


Rebecca and Eliezer

c. 1650
Oil on canvas, 107 x 171 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid


The Holy Family with a Bird

Oil on canvas, 144 x 188 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid


Adoration of the Shepherds

Oil on canvas, 187 x 228 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid


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