Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban
Spanish, 17th century, male.
Baptised 1 January 1618 in Seville; died 13 April 1682, in Seville.
Painter, draughtsman. Religious subjects, genre scenes, portraits.
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo was the son of Gaspar Esteban Murillo, a mechanic, and María Pérez. He was orphaned at the age of ten and brought up by his maternal uncle, who placed him as an apprentice with his relative Juan del Castillo, a painter in the Italian manner. He provided Murillo with a sound artistic training. Murillo began by painting genre pieces, often taking beggar children as his subject and painting them with intense realism and a powerful expressiveness that showed great promise; many of these works were exported to the Spanish colonies. He is believed to have spent his whole life in Seville, and it was there that he became familiar with the work of the Flemish and Venetian painters he found so appealing; he did not need to visit Madrid, as has sometimes been suggested, and it is therefore unlikely that he met Velázquez, although he was doubtless as impressed by Velázquez's work as he was by that of Zurbarán or Van Dyck. However, he did meet Pedro de Moya, a pupil of Velázquez, in Seville. His first known work was a ...