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MURILLO

(Bartolome Esteban Murillo, 1618-1682)

MURILLO: A FORGOTTEN MASTER

The next great 17th century Spanish master after Velazquez andZurbaran is another artist who lived in Seville, Bartolome Esteban Murillo. Sadly, Murillo is easy to misjudge; at his weakest, which is not all that infrequent, he has a softness that can only be called sentimental. The mistake is to take the weak Murillo as the only Murillo. It is true that he is never as strong or as deep as Velazquez or Zurbaran but he has his own gentle strengths and depths. Murillo can make us catch our breath with his unworldly but convincing images.

Because of our modern desire to face life whole, with all its cruelty, Murillo is often accused of being too idealistic, too anodyne. Our desire for realism runs contrary to Murillo's personal world of family love and understanding. Some of our surprise may come from the realization, unexpected, that sweetness can be made to work. The Holy Family, with its tenderly involved St. Joseph and the absence of anything resembling heavy symbolism, has a charm that increases the longer the picture is looked at. The small mongrel and the cosseted child are both painted with the insight of love.

But we can perhaps best appreciate the genuine if not monumental gifts of this artist in one of his rare secular works. Two Women at a Window is a splendid image, reticent, creamily beautiful, certain of its own understanding of the two figures. One of them is almost certainly a duenna - an older woman employed by the family to be both a governess and a chaperon. She is laughing, but we are not shown her laughter: only her creased up cheeks, flushed with mirth. Her twinkling eyes assure us that what makes the young woman smile to herself, unaffected, makes the older woman crinkle up with sardonic glee. She sees more, and understands with sharper wit, than the pretty child, and Murillo shows us this with the most delicate understatement.

In this wonderful picture, the great strong vertical of the shutter, and the equally strong horizontal of the window ledge, frame the two women. The girl, who is the emotional center of the picture, looks out at life with ironic detachment, but Murillo, and the older woman, know that her practical options are severely circumscribed.

From "Sister Wendy's Story of Painting"

 MURILLO_WOMEN_AT_WINDOW

Murillo, Bartolome Esteban Two Women at a Window c. 1670 Oil on canvas 41 3/4 x 50 in (106 x 127 cm) National Gallery of Art, Washington

 MURILLO_BEGGAR

Murillo, Bartolome Esteban The Young Beggar Oil on canvas 53 x 39 1/4 in. (134 x 100 cm) Musee du Louvre, Paris

murillo_The_Holy_Family_with_a_Little_Bird

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The Holy Family with a Little Bird. c.1650. Oil on canvas. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

murillo_La_Cuisine_des_Anges

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. La Cuisine des Anges. 1646. Oil on canvas. Louvre, Paris, France.

murillo_Madonna_of_the_Rosary

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Madonna of the Rosary. Oil on canvas. Palazzo Pitti, Galleria Palatina, Florence, Italy.

murillo_Madonna_and_Child

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Madonna and Child. Oil on canvas. Palazzo Pitti, Galleria Palatina, Florence, Italy.

murillo_A_Girl_and_Her_Duenna

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. A Girl and Her Duenna. c. 1670. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA.

murillo_The_Return_of_the_Prodigal_Son

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The Return of the Prodigal Son. 1670-74. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA.

murillo_Isaac_Blessing_Jacob

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Isaac Blessing Jacob. 1665-70. Oil on canvas. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.

murillo_Adoration_of_the_Shepherds

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Adoration of the Shepherds. Oil on canvas. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.

murillo_Rest_on_the_Flight_into_Egypt

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Rest on the Flight into Egypt. Oil on canvas. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.

murillo_The_Assumption_of_the_Virgin

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The Assumption of the Virgin. 1670s. Oil on canvas. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.

murillo_The_Good_Shepherd

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The Good Shepherd. c. 1660. Oil on canvas. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

murillo_A_Boy_with_a_Dog

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. A Boy with a Dog. 1650s. Oil on canvas. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.

murillo_A_Girl_with_Fruits

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. A Girl with Fruits. Oil on canvas. The Pushkin Museum of Fine Art, Moscow, Russia.

murillo_St _Rodriguez

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. St. Rodriguez. c. 1646-1655. Oil on canvas. Alte Meister Gallerie, Dresden, Germany.

murillo_Virgin_and_Child

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Virgin and Child. c. 1670. Oil on canvas. Alte Meister Gallerie, Dresden, Germany.

murillo_Virgin_and_Child

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Virgin and Child. c.1675-80. Oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA.

murillo_The_Pie_Eater

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The Pie Eater. c. 1662-1672. Oil on canvas. Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany.

murillo_Annunciation

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Annunciation. c.1660-65. Oil on canvas. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

murillo_The_Toilette

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The Toilette. c. 1670-1673. Oil on canvas. Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany.

murillo_The_Little_Fruit_Seller

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The Little Fruit Seller. c. 1670-1675. Oil on canvas. Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany.

murillo_The_Prodigal_Son_Receiving_His_Portion_of_Inheritance

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The Prodigal Son Receiving His Portion of Inheritance. 1660s. Oil on canvas. National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.

murillo_The_Dream_of_the_Patrician

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The Dream of the Patrician. c. 1662-1665. Oil on canvas. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

murillo_The_Departure_of_the_Prodigal_Son

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The Departure of the Prodigal Son. 1660s. Oil on canvas. National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.

murillo_The_Prodigal_Son_Feasting_with_Courtesans

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The Prodigal Son Feasting with Courtesans. 1660s. Oil on canvas. National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.

murillo_The_Prodigal_Son_Driven_Out

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The Prodigal Son Driven Out. 1660s. Oil on canvas. National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.

murillo_The_Prodigal_Son_Feeding_Swine

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The Prodigal Son Feeding Swine. 1660s. Oil on canvas. National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.

murillo_The_Return_of_the_Prodigal_Son

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The Return of the Prodigal Son. 1660s. Oil on canvas. National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.

murillo_Old_Woman_with_a_Distaff

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Old Woman with a Distaff. c. 1642. Oil on canvas. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

murillo_Vision_to_St

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Vision to St. Francis. 1645-1646. Oil on canvas. San Fernando Academy, Madrid, Spain.

murillo_St _Diego_Giving_Alms

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. St. Diego Giving Alms. 1645-46. Oil on canvas. San Fernando Academy, Madrid, Spain.

murillo_La_Cuisine_des_Anges

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. La Cuisine des Anges. Detail. 1646. Oil on canvas. Louvre, Paris, France.

murillo_Grape_and_Melon_Eaters

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Grape and Melon Eaters. c. 1650. Oil on canvas. Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany.

murillo_The_Patrician_Juan_and_His_Wife_Reveal_His_Dream_to_Pope_Liberius

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The Patrician Juan and His Wife Reveal His Dream to Pope Liberius. c. 1662-1665. Oil on canvas. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

murillo_Portrait_of_Andres_de_Andrade-i-la_Col

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Portrait of Andres de Andrade-i-la Col. 1656-1660. Oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA.

murillo_Madonna_in_the_Clouds

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Madonna in the Clouds. 1656-1660. Oil on canvas. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

murillo_Childhood_of_Virgin

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Childhood of Virgin. c. 1665. Oil on canvas. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

murillo_Old_Woman_with_a_Hen

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Old Woman with a Hen. Oil on canvas. Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany.

murillo_Chasuble_of_St

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Chasuble of St. Idelfonso. 1658-1660. Oil on canvas. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

murillo_St _Leander

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. St. Leander. 1655. Oil on canvas. Cathedral, Sevilla, Spain.

murillo_St _Isidor

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. St. Isidor. 1655. Oil on canvas. Cathedral, Sevilla, Spain.

murillo_The_Dream_of_the_Patrician

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The Dream of the Patrician. Detail. c. 1662-1665. Oil on canvas. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

murillo_Joseph_with_Infant_Christ

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Joseph with Infant Christ. 1665-1666. Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Sevilla, Spain.

murillo_The_Vision_to_St

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The Vision to St. Francis at Porziuncola. c. 1667. Oil on canvas. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

murillo_Madonna_with_a_Napkin

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Madonna with a Napkin. 1665-1666. Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Sevilla, Spain.

murillo_St _Justa_and_St

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. St. Justa and St. Rufina. 1665-1666. Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Sevilla, Spain.

murillo_St _Leander_and_St

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. St. Leander and St. Bonaventura. 1665-1666. Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Sevilla, Spain.

murillo_St _Thomas_Villanueva_Giving_Alms

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. St. Thomas Villanueva Giving Alms. c. 1668. Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Sevilla, Spain.

murillo_Angel_Rescues_St

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Angel Rescues St. Peter from Prison. c. 1667. Oil on canvas. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.

murillo_Portrait_of_Don_Nicolas_Omasur

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Portrait of Don Nicolas Omasur. 1672. Oil on canvas. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

murillo_Crucifixion

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Crucifixion. 1675-1682. Oil on canvas. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.

murillo_Two_Peasant_Boys

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Two Peasant Boys. c. 1668-1670. Oil on canvas. Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, UK.

murillo_Three_Boys

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Three Boys. c. 1668-1670. Oil on canvas. Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, UK.

murillo__Flower_Seller

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Flower Seller. c. 1668-1670. Oil on canvas. Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, UK.

murillo_Our_Lady_of_the_Immaculate_Conception

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. c.1678. Oil on canvas. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

murillo_Self-Portrait

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Self-Portrait. c. 1672-75. Oil on canvas. National Gallery, London, UK.

murillo_Landscape

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Landscape. Oil on canvas. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

murillo_Landscape

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Landscape. 1680. Oil on canvas. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

murillo_Children_with_a_Shell

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Children with a Shell. Oil on canvas. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

murillo_The_Baptism_of_Christ

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The Baptism of Christ. c. 1655. Oil on canvas. Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany.

murillo_The_Beggar_Boy

Murillo

Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The Beggar Boy. c. 1650. Oil on canvas. Louvre, Paris, France.