Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, on the 400th anniversary of his birth
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682), central personality of the Baroque School Sevillana, is the Spanish painter best known and appreciated outside of Spain, this year 2017 marks the 400th anniversary of his birth. In addition to his important religious work, he is a reference of the painting of genre that he carried out in a continuous and independent way throughout his life. The popular characters of his religious paintings brought the Counter-Reformation to the common people. In Seville still remain about 70 works of the author, of great quality and importance. He is currently considered one of the great masters and his paintings are distributed in all the great museums of the world.
His paintings soon appeared in Flemish, German, Italian and English collections, in 1683 at the Academy nobilissimae artis pictoriae of the painter and writer Sandrart, he spoke with Velázquez, and José de Ribera, from Murillo. The biography of Palomino, of 1724, emphasized the high contribution that his works abroad reached. Its prestige continued to increase throughout the eighteenth century. Marshal Soult during the French invasion, at the beginning of the 19th century, seized many works of the painter in Seville. In Europe in the second half of the nineteenth century, his fame declined, however, already in the twentieth century Murillo regained a prominent place in the history of universal painting.
Murillo, known for his Inmaculadas, and for a profane painting, with an important presence of children’s figures and portraits, made great collections for churches and convents from Seville: Capuchinos, Cathedral, Santa Maria la Blanca, Santa Caridad … He was a painter with a great influence In his disciples and a great international projection. His work was of great importance in the transatlantic trade at the end of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, he exerted a clear influence on some painters of the New World.