Inventory number
P00994
Author
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban (Spanish)
Title
The Foundation of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome: 1. The Patrician`s Dream
Chronology
Ca. 1663
Technique
Óleo
Support
Lienzo
Dimensions
231 cm x 524 cm
School
Española
Theme
Religión
On display
Yes
Provenance
Iglesia de Santa María la Blanca, Sevilla, 1665; confiscado por el mariscal Soult, probablemente en 1810; registrado en el Musée Napoléon, París, en 1814 y 1815; devuelto a España en octubre de 1815; Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1816-1901.

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 Chruch 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's Dream shows the apparition of the Virgin to John and his wife while they sleep. Mary calls on them to build a large church dedicated to her on Mount Esquilino, where the floor plan is indicated by a 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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