Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

1617-1682

Murillo was the most popular baroque religious painter during the 17th century in Spain. Apart from being known for his religious paintings, he also made contemporary paintings of women and children. He was the painter king of Seville during

the 17th and 18th centuries and even today he remains one of the most remembered and appreciated painters in the city. However, during the 19th century his fame waned because his religious paintings were believed to be too sentimental and emotional.

The Story Of Murillo

When Murillo died in 1682, he left behind a legacy of more than 400 paintings that have been preserved for more than 200 years and have been the main attraction for museums and art buyers. Another attraction of Murillo’s works is the international recognition they are given, since he not only delved into his Sevillian roots, but his works were highly coveted in all the Catholic countries of the time. For example, one of his masterpieces called El Jubileo de la Porciúncula was returned to Seville from Cologne, Germany. His influence demonstrates the impact of the culture that encompassed Seville at that time.

As previously stated, during the 19th century Murillo’s works began to lose their fame and the main reason for this was very simple; People began to be interested in other artistic tastes and did not fully appreciate Murillo’s works since his high religious symbology was outdated by that time. At the same time, the empire of Spain began to run out of steam as both the influence of art from the USA and that of England was becoming greater and, in turn, Murillo’s paintings showing the street life of Seville with beggars and very poor people was a very surreal sight.

Are His Works Still Relevant now ?

Even now, Seville commemorates Murillo’s legacy and has many historical sites that help understand his life and work. Some of the places include the Iglesia de la Magdalena where he was baptized; as well as the Museum of Fine Arts, which has an extensive collection of his paintings. Finally, there is no better way to celebrate a person than to have a large statue in the center of the Plaza del Museo to dedicate their name to Murillo.

However, Murillo remains a recognized person, especially in Seville, where a public commemoration organized by the city council was recently held. It brings together the most representative works by Murillo found throughout the world. Recently, modern critics have been reassessing his lesser-known skills, such as being a portrait painter, and this has helped to reassess his lost work. After many centuries, Murillo’s work and legacy will now be united with other great works from Spain

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