Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, ‘Virgin and Child’, ca. 1670–1672, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Image rights: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Rogers Fund, 1943), licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal

About Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, one of the first major Spanish painters to become known outside Spain, was known for his tranquil religious paintings. In his early career, Murillo was deeply influenced by Francisco de Zurbarán, and borrowed Zurbarán’s use of neutral and compressed pictoral space; later works were influenced by Peter Paul Rubens and Federico Barocci. Murillo’s style was highly realistic, and he sometimes used local peasants as models. He became adept at using chiaroscuro, and was particularly noted for his depictions of luminous mists and clouds. Because Murillo’s works had popular appeal, he received many commissions from religious institutions. In one account, Murillo died from a fatal fall from a scaffold while working on The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine at the Capuchin Church in Cádiz.

Spanish, 1617-1682, Seville, Spain, based in Seville, Spain