Inventory number
P00995
Author
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban
Title
The Foundation of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome: II. The Patrician Reveals his Dream to Pope Liberius
Chronology
1664 - 1665
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimensions
230,5 cm x 523 cm
School
Spanish
Theme
Religion
On display
Yes
Provenance
Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, Madrid, 1901

This is one of a pair of paintings representing the miraculous origin of the founding of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. They were commissioned by the Church of Santa María la Blanca in Seville when it was remodeled after 1660 and were conceived of as a program in praise of Mary in keeping with the papal bull of 1661 on the mystery of the Immaculate Conception.

The Patrician Reveals his Dream to the Pope shows the visit John and his wife made to Pope Liberius, who had also witnessed a similar apparition, to tell him their dream. In the background, a procession goes to the indicated place where the Virgin, with the Christ Child in her arms, presides over the miraculous snowfall.

These two canvases are among the most important of Murillos works, both for their size and for the ambitious composition and masterful manner in which the pictorial narration is resolved. They were taken to France by Marshal Soult for the Napoleonic Museum. In 1816 they were returned to Spain and deposited at the Royal Academy of San Fernando. From there, they entered the Prado Museum.

 
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