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The Foundation of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. The Patrician recounts his Dream to the Pope
Oil on canvas. 1664 - 1665
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban
The Foundation of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. The Patrician recounts his Dream to the Pope
Oil on canvas. 1664 - 1665
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban

This painting and its companion, The Patrician’s Dream (P994), are among Murillo’s most renowned works. The two arched works were intended to hang beneath a small dome in the recently remodeled Sevillian church of Santa María la Blanca in 1665, and they narrate the story of the founding of the Roman basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore as succinctly set out in the Roman Breviary’s information a

The Martyrdom of Saint Andrew
Oil on canvas. 1675 - 1682
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban
The Martyrdom of Saint Andrew
Oil on canvas. 1675 - 1682
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban

At the centre of this painting, the apostle Saint Andrew is being tied to the X-shaped cross on which he will die. His muscles are taut and he raises his eyes heavenward, where several angels carry the palm and crown of martyrdom. The cross is tall, allowing Murillo to place the saint in the middle ground, surrounded by a great variety of figures who play different roles and express a range of emo

The Foundation of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. The Patrician's Dream
Oil on canvas. 1664 - 1665
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban
The Foundation of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. The Patrician's Dream
Oil on canvas. 1664 - 1665
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban

This painting and its companion, The Patrician Reveals his Dream to the Pope (P995), are among Murillo’s most renowned works. The two arched works were intended to hang beneath a small dome in the recently remodeled Sevillian church of Santa María la Blanca in 1665, and they narrate the story of the founding of the Roman basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore as succinctly set out in the Roman Br

The Conversion of Saint Paul
Oil on canvas. 1675 - 1682
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban
The Conversion of Saint Paul
Oil on canvas. 1675 - 1682
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban

Saint Paul fell from his horse as he heard Christ’s words “Why persecutest thou me?” which brought about his conversion. Murillo’s interpretation is notably dynamic, making use of the contrast between the area only occupied by the glow of light and the figure of Christ, and the crowded group of Saint Paul and his companions, set against a dark background.

The Immaculate Conception of Los Venerables
Oil on canvas. 1660 - 1665
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban
The Immaculate Conception of Los Venerables
Oil on canvas. 1660 - 1665
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban

Murillo created a highly successful formula for representing the Immaculate Conception, with the Virgin dressed in blue and white, her hands crossed over her bosom and her gaze directed at the heavens as she stands on the moon. He presents her with a clearly upward impulse that situates her in a celestial space filled with light, clouds and angels. That was the artist’s manner of combining two dif

The Apparition of the Virgin to Saint Bernard
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1655
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban
The Apparition of the Virgin to Saint Bernard
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1655
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban

The Virgin appears miraculously to Saint Bernard to offer him her milk as a reward for his praises and defense. The Saint is surprised while studying and falls to his knees. His desk and bookshelves appear behind him and other books, and an abbot´s staff, lie on the floor. The subject and size of this work suggest that it was probably an altar painting made for a Cistercian convent. Yet, there is

The Apparition of the Virgin to Saint Ildephonsus
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1655
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban
The Apparition of the Virgin to Saint Ildephonsus
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1655
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban

This miraculous scene from the life of Saint Ildefonso portrays the moment when the Virgin descended from Heaven to give him a chasuble as a prize for his praises. The choice of this subject corresponds to the Counterreformation policy carried out in Spain, where devotion to Mary was one of its fundamental pillars. The composition is divided into an upper, divine world and a lower, earthly one. Th

The Virgin of the Rosary
Oil on canvas. 1650 - 1655
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban
The Virgin of the Rosary
Oil on canvas. 1650 - 1655
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban

In 1836, the English critic John Ruskin lavished praise on Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s technique and identified the uniqueness of his approach: It is true that his Virgins are never such goddess-mothers as those of Correggio or Raphael, but they are never vulgar: they are mortal, but into their mortal features is cast such a light of holy loveliness, such a beauty of sweet soul, such an unf

Saint Anne teaching the Virgin to read
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1655
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban
Saint Anne teaching the Virgin to read
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1655
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban

Painters from Seville were very fond of this apocryphal episode from the Virgin’s childhood. Here, Murillo used it to bring various levels of reality into a single pictorial space: first, historical reality in the form of a domestic scene in which a mother has left her sewing to instruct her daughter; second, a space generated with architectural references such as balustered columns that locate th

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