Bartolomé Esteban Murillo at Dulwich Picture Gallery

by FrancesSpiegel

Dulwich Picture Gallery undergoes dramatic transformation to display masterpieces by Spanish Baroque artist Bartolomé Esteban-Murillo.

During Spring 2013 the work of Bartolomé Esteban-Murillo features in a major exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery. The installation explores Murillo's relationship with Don Justino de Neve, canon of Seville Cathedral, who commissioned Murillo to produce a number of paintings for religious organisations.

Dr. Xavier Bray, Arturo and Holly Melosi Chief Curator at Dulwich Picture Gallery, is curator of the exhibition. The exhibition has been made possible through support from the American Friends of Dulwich Picture Gallery and The Arthur and Holly Magill Foundation.

Bartolomé Esteban-Murillo

A Very Popular 17th-century Spanish Baroque Painter


Bartolomé Esteban-Murillo (1617-1682) is perhaps best-known for portrayals of the Virgin and Child and the Immaculate Conception. He was influenced by artists such as Diego Velázquez, Alonzo Cano, Jusepe de Ribera, Francisco de Zurbarán, and was certainly aware of the Venetian and Flemish masters. Murillo was a co-founder, in 1660, of the Academia de Bellas Artes with architect Francisco Herrera the Younger. In 1662 he became a Tertiary of the Franciscan Order. Murillo died in 1682.

Murillo & Justino de Neve: The Art of Friendship

At Dulwich, the display focuses on the friendship between Bartolomé Esteban-Murillo and his close friend Don Justino de Neve, canon of Seville Cathedral and highly respected churchman. The exhibition space at Dulwich has been transformed to resemble the interior of a church allowing paintings to be hung at the correct height so that visitors see them as originally intended.

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, The Immaculate conception of the Venerables Sacerdotes, 1660-65, oil on canvas, 274 x 190 cm, Photographic Archive. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

1660-65, oil on canvas, 274 x 190 cm, Photographic Archive. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo at Dulwich Picture Gallery
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo at Dulwich ...
Dulwich Picture Gallery

Highlights of the Exhibition

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, The Baptism of Christ, 1667-68, Oil on canvas, 283 x 210 cm, Chapel of San Antonio, Catedral de Sevilla

Highlights of the display include The Immaculate Conception of the Venerables Sacerdotes (1660-65) which has been united with its highly decorated baroque altar-frame for the first time in many years.


Also on display is The Baptism of Christ (1667-68). This beautiful piece was originally located in Seville Cathedral and this is the first time it has been shown outside Spain. 





Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, The Adoration of the Magi, 1660-65, Oil on canvas, 34.6 x 27.4 cm, By Permission of the Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery, LondonAnother outstanding oil sketch is The Adoration of the Magi (1660-65). The work has recently recently been the subject of a major conservation project. Several layers of old varnish were removed and as a result the painting has now been fully attributed to Murillo, whereas before it was catalogued as being 'after Murillo', i.e: painted by one of his students or followers.

Genre Paintings by Murillo

‘Spring’ (?) as a Flower Girl, 1665-70, oil on canvas, 120.7 x 98.3 cm, By permission of The Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery, LondonAlthough Murillo was renowned for his religious paintings, we must not forget his genre paintings.

Dulwich Picture Gallery is home to a comprehensive collection of Murillo's genre paintings which are also on display. One in particular, 'Spring’ (?) as a Flower Girl (1665-70), has been restored with sponsorship from the Bank of American Merrill Lynch Art Conservation Project. X-radiography of this painting reveals evidence of an earlier Immaculate Conception.

Murillo & Justino de Neve - The Art of Friendship – Catalogue

A fully-illustrated catalogue provides a permanent record of the exhibition. Edited by Gabriele Finaldi, the book includes contributions by leading Murillo scholars including Dr Xavier Bray, Ignacio Cano Rivero, Elena Cenalmor Bruquetas, Peter Cherry, Teodoro Falcon Marquez, Benito Navarrete Prieto and Jaxier Portus Perez.  The book can be purchased directly from Dulwich Picture Gallery priced at £19.99, and Museo del Prado, priced at 19.00 Euro.

How to Buy Tickets for the Exhibition

Murillo & Justino de Neve: The Art of Friendship can be seen at Dulwich Picture Gallery from 6th February to 19th May 2013. Tickets and further information are available from Dulwich Picture Gallery. Additional works by Murillo can also been seen at the Wallace Collection in their exhibition entitled Murillo at the Wallace Collection: Painting of the Spanish Golden Age. This display is open until 12th May 2013.

Art for Art Lovers




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Bartolome Esteban Murillo, 17th Century Spanish Painter

Girl and Her Duenna, c.1670

Have you been inspired to visit the exhibition?

Updated: 02/28/2013, FrancesSpiegel
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FrancesSpiegel on 07/05/2013

Dulwich Picture Gallery is an amazing place to visit - it's set in beautiful gardens. I do think it's a shame that all the artists featured in this exhibition are now deceased and cannot see their amazing works hanging here.

WriterArtist on 07/04/2013

The Dulwich Picture Gallery showcases some of the beautiful paintings, I can imagine how nice it will be for the artists.

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