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Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1618-1682)

April 24, 2011

Imaculate Conception of the Escorial

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo 1660-1665.

Oil on canvas.

Museo del Prado, Madrid.

This painting was a result of a debate on the Immaculate Conception.  The Franciscans believed Mary was born free of Original Sin, and so immaculately conceived.  However, the Dominicans believed that Mary was conceived like everyone else – with sin, but became purified.  Because Murillo had a close connection to the Franciscans, he painted a triumphant Mary on a crescent moon.  His Mary is depicted according to the vision of Beatriz de Silva (Marqués).

Murillo executed this painting in an extremely painterly manner, known as estilo vaporoso.  Mary stands on clouds and a crescent moon, floating.  Four putti tumble about at her feet.  This shows Murillo’s exposure to Velazquez and his Italian-influenced works.

Manuela B. Mena Marqués. “Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. 25 Apr. 2011 <;.

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