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Artist: Murillo, Bartolomé-Esteban 2 of 2 Previous Previous | Next Next

The Birth of St. John the Baptist, c. 1655

Bartolomé-Esteban Murillo

Spanish, 1617-1682
Oil on canvas
framed: 70 x 86-1/2 in. (177.8 x 219.7 cm); canvas: 57-3/4 x 74-1/8 in. (146.7 x 188.3 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
F.1973.38.P
© 2012 The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

Murillo, a native of Seville, was a generation younger than Zurbarán and Velazquez. Immensely popular throughout Spain and Europe, he was often called the "Spanish Raphael" for his sweet, idealized Madonnas and the softness and delicacy of his modelling. The characters in this painting are portrayed naturalistically yet retain the ideal, innate grace and elegance that are consistent with Murillo's figures from the late 1640s on. His modeling is solid yet handled with a painterly touch. Although this work displays a strong chiaroscuro, the general effect is one of luminosity: the darks are not so opaque, the lights are strong and the colors are saturated.

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Artist: Murillo, Bartolomé-Esteban 2 of 2 Previous Previous | Next Next