Baptised on 1 January 1618, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (d. 1682) became the leading painter of late seventeenth-century Seville. He completed several religious commissions, especially compelling and innovative representations of the Immaculate Conception. He was also an outstanding portraitist, as revealed in the exhibition Murillo: The Self-Portraits, on view at The Frick Collection in New York until February 4. The painter also excelled in genre pictures of children, a production which made him extremely famous among foreign connoisseurs and collectors, especially in England and France in the eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century.
As noted in a contemporary document, Murillo had ‘all his life been a parishioner of la Magdalena [in Seville] without any notable absence’. His oeuvre and memory are closely connected to this city in the South of Spain, then a flourishing emporium for trade with Latin America.
Unsurprisingly, this year the city will celebrate Murillo’s 400th birthday with a number of large-scale cultural events and exhibition. Information on many of these can be found on a dedicated website, Murillo y Sevilla. Here are some highlights:
Murillo y los Capuchinos de Sevilla. Reconstrucción (Murillo and the Capuchins of Seville. Reconstruction), exhibition curated by Maria del Valme Muñoz at the Museo de Bellas Artes. Until 1 April 2018.
Murillo y su estela en Sevilla (Murillo and His Followers in Seville), exhibition curated by Benito Navarrete at the Espacio Santa Clara. Until 8 April 2018.
Murillo IV centenario (Murillo’s 4th centenary), exhibition curated by María Valme Muñoz e Ignacio Cano at the Museo de Bellas Artes. 29 November 2018–17 March 2019.
International Conference Murillo ante su centenario: perspectivas historiográficas y culturales (Murillo at 400: historiographical and cultural perspectives), 19–22 March 2018, Universidad de Sevilla.