Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (born late December 1617, baptized January
1, 1618 – April 3, 1682) was a Spanish
Although he is best known for his religious works, Murillo also
produced a considerable number of paintings of contemporary women and
children. These lively, realist portraits of flower girls, street
urchins, and beggars constitute an extensive and appealing record of
the everyday life of his times.
4 Public collections
5 Selected works
8 External links
Murillo was born to Gaspar Esteban and María Pérez. He may have
been born in
Seville or in Pilas, a smaller Andalusian town. It is
clear that he was baptized in
Seville in 1618, the youngest son in a
family of fourteen. His father was a barber and surgeon. After his
parents died in 1627 and 1628, he became a ward of his sister's
husband, Juan Agustín Lagares. Murillo seldom used his father's
surname, and instead took his surname from his maternal grandmother,
The Holy Family with dog, c. 1645–50, Museo del Prado
Murillo began his art studies in
Seville under Juan del Castillo, who
was a relative of his mother (Murillo's uncle, Antonio Pérez, was
also a painter). His first works were influenced by Zurbarán,
Jusepe de Ribera
Jusepe de Ribera and Alonzo Cano, and he shared their strongly realist
approach. The great commercial importance of
Seville at the time
ensured that he was subject to artistic influences from other regions.
He became familiar with
Flemish painting and the "Treatise on Sacred
Molanus (Ian van der Meulen or Molano). As his painting
developed, his more important works evolved towards the polished style
that suited the bourgeois and aristocratic tastes of the time,
demonstrated especially in his Roman Catholic religious works.
In 1642, at the age of 26, he moved to Madrid, where he most likely
became familiar with the work of Velázquez, and would have seen the
work of Venetian and Flemish masters in the royal collections; the
rich colors and softly modeled forms of his subsequent work suggest
these influences. In 1645 he returned to
Seville and married
Beatriz Cabrera y Villalobos, with whom he eventually had eleven
Two women at a window, c. 1655–60, National Gallery of Art,
In that year, he painted eleven canvases for the convent of St.
Francisco el Grande in Seville. These works depicting the miracles of
Franciscan saints vary between the Zurbaránesque tenebrism of the
Ecstasy of St Francis and a softly luminous style (as in Death of St
Clare) that became typical of Murillo's mature work. According to
the art historian Manuela B. Mena Marqués, "in ... the Levitation of
St Giles (usually known as the "Angel’s Kitchen", Paris, Louvre) and
the Death of St Clare (Dresden, Gemäldegal. Alte Meister), the
characteristic elements of Murillo’s work are already evident: the
elegance and beauty of the female figures and the angels, the realism
of the still-life details and the fusion of reality with the spiritual
world, which is extraordinarily well developed in some of the
Also completed c. 1645 was the first of Murillo's many paintings of
children, The Young Beggar (Musée du Louvre), in which the influence
of Velázquez is apparent. Following the completion of a pair of
pictures for the
Seville Cathedral, he began to specialize in the
themes that brought him his greatest successes: the Virgin and Child
and the Immaculate Conception.
The Adoration of the Shepherds, c. 1650, Museo del Prado
After another period in Madrid, from 1658 to 1660, he returned to
Seville. Here he was one of the founders of the Academia de Bellas
Artes (Academy of Art), sharing its direction, in 1660, with the
Francisco Herrera the Younger. This was his period of
greatest activity, and he received numerous important commissions,
among them the altarpieces for the Augustinian monastery, the
Santa María la Blanca
Santa María la Blanca (completed in 1665), and others.
He died in
Seville in 1682 at the age of 64.
His death was, for a long time, wrongly attributed to a hernia caused
by a fall from a scaffold while working on a fresco at Santa María la
Blanca (Cadiz) . However, recent research shows that during this
time he did not leave Seville, disproving this theory.
Murillo had many pupils and followers. The prolific imitation of his
paintings ensured his reputation in
Spain and fame throughout Europe,
and prior to the 19th century his work was more widely known than that
of any other Spanish artist. Artists influenced by his style
included Gainsborough and Greuze.
The Murillo Room in the Museum of Cádiz
Museo del Prado
Museo del Prado in Madrid;
Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg,
Russia; and the
Wallace Collection in London are among the museums
holding works by Murillo. His painting Christ on the Cross is at the
Timken Museum of Art
Timken Museum of Art in San Diego. Christ After the Flagellation is
at the Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, Illinois. His work is also
found at the
Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art
Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and at
Meadows Museum at
Southern Methodist University
Southern Methodist University in Dallas,
Joseph and Potiphar's Wife, c. 1640–45, Cathedral of Seville, Spain
Young Man with a Basket of Fruit or Personification of Summer, c.
The Girl with a Coin or Girl of Galicia, c. 1645–50
The Young Beggar, c. 1645, Musée du Louvre, Paris, France
Boys Eating Grapes and Melon, c. 1645–46, Alte Pinakothek
The Flight into Egypt, c. 1645–50
St. Jerome, c. 1650–52
St. Peter in Tears, c. 1650–55
The Virgin of the Rosary, c. 1650–55, Museo del Prado
St. Isidore of Sevilla, 1654, Cathedral of Seville, Spain
Annunciation, c. 1655–60, Hermitage Museum, Russia
Adoration of the Magi, c. 1660
Apparition of the Virgin to St. Ildefonsus, c. 1660
Three Boys, c. 1660
St. Justa, c. 1665
St. Rufina, c. 1665
Christ Healing the Paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda, 1670
St. Rose of Lima, c. 1670
Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 1678
Raphael the Archangel
Raphael the Archangel with Bishop Domonte, c. 1680, Pushkin Museum
The Marriage Feast at Cana, c. 1672, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
^ a b c d e f g h i Marqués, Manuela B. Mena. "Murillo, Bartolomé
Esteban." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University
^ A., O'Neill (1833). A Dictionary of Spanish Painters. London: C.
O'Neill. p. 246.
^ a b "Bartolome Esteban Murillo". Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
^ The center medallion of the badge of the Spanish Order of Charles
III is clearly modeled on Murillo's unique manner of representing the
^ Palomino, El museo pictórico, p. 417.
^ "Christ on the Cross". Timken Museum of Art. Archived from the
original on 2011-11-27.
^ "Christ After the Flagellation". Krannert Art Museum.
^ "Bartolomé Esteban MURILLO". Meadows Museum. Archived from the
original on 2012-09-10. Retrieved 2012-12-08.
Palomino, Antonio (1988). El museo pictórico y escala óptica III. El
parnaso español pintoresco laureado. Madrid : Aguilar S.A. de
Ediciones. ISBN 84-03-88005-7.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.
Paintings in Museums and Public Art Galleries Worldwide
Murillo Biography, Style and Critical Reception
Murillo Gallery at MuseumSyndicate
Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Bartolomé Esteban Murillo".
Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
Murillo at ArtRenewalCenter
ISNI: 0000 0001 0917 9367
BNF: cb14952935x (data)