- Inventory number
- Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban (Spanish)
- The Immaculate Conception of the Venerable Ones, or of `Soult'
- Ca. 1678
- 274 cm x 190 cm
- On display
- Colección Justino de Neve, Sevilla, 1685; adquirido por el Hospital de los Venerables Sacerdotes de Sevilla, 1686; Alcázar de Sevilla, 1810; colección del mariscal Soult, París, 1813-1852; adquirido por el Musée du Louvre, 1852; ingresa en el Museo del Prado por permuta con el estado francés, 1941.
Murillo painted many Immaculate Conceptions, and in the last years of his life, he created an ideal formula in which the Virgin wears white and blue, with her hands crossed on her bosom and a clear ascending impulse that is very Baroque. Mary is situated in a heavenly space inhabited by light, clouds and angels that serves to join two iconographic traditions: that of the Immaculate Conception itself, and that of the Ascension.
The loose, energetic brushstrokes, spiral composition and use of light, as well as the sense of movement that emanates from this work, make it an extraordinary example of Baroque art.
This work was commissioned by Justino de Neve (1625-1685) for the Hospital of the Venerable Priests of Seville. During the War for Independence, in 1813, it was taken to France by Marshall Soult. In 1941, it returned to the Prado Museum after almost a century on display at the Louvre in Paris.