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Exhibitions

Murillo’s The Prodigal Son and the art of narrative in Andalusian Baroque painting

During the central decades of the 17th century a type of painting was produced in Andalusia that was notably representative of both the high levels achieved by the principal painters of the region and the expectations and tastes of one of the most active sectors of their clientele. These are works structured as series, most of medium size and commissioned by private individuals for domestic interiors or private oratories. They depict a “story” taken from the Bible or the hagiographies, either in the form of an individual’s life story recounted in greater or lesser detail, or the different stages within one biographical episode. The format allowed artists to display not only their use of compositional devices but also their skills as narrators of sequential episodes.

The content of the series and the way the artists chose to depict the subjects often reflect the contemporary world of the individuals who commissioned them, their codes and aspirations, while also providing us with an insight into part of their material culture.

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