Sunday, November 20, 2011

Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban

Virgin and Child with St Rosalina of Palermo
c. 1670
Oil on canvas
190 cm (74.8 in) x 147 cm (57.9 in)
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 - 1682) was born in Seville, Spain, where he lived until his death. He was the youngest son in a family of fourteen and his father was a barber and surgeon (his parents died when he was still very young, and he was largely brought up by his aunt and uncle).
He was the first Spanish painter to achieve renown throughout Europe. In addition to the enormous popularity of his works in Spain, he was much admired in other countries, particularly England. Although he is best known for his religious works, his lively, realist portraits of flower girls and beggars constitute an extensive and appealing record of the everyday life of his times.

He 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.