The paintings of Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1618-1682), which depict women and children of the artist's world, as well as elegantly-handled religious subjects, constitute an extensive and appealing record of the everyday life of his times. Taking the Dulwich Picture Gallery's excellent collection of masterpieces as a starting point, this book demonstrates Murillo's far-reaching popularity and the influence he had on artists such as Thomas Gainsborough, whose 'fancy pictures' show a clear affinity with Murillo's paintings of children. It sumptuously illustrates the main artworks, while reproductions of other Murillo paintings put the master's enduring art into a historical and social context. The book also provides important new scholarship on attribution and technique, with x-ray images revealing fresh and unexpected insights into the genesis and evolution of Murillo's compositions. One piece has never before been shown in print and several of the other key works have been newly conserved - bringing them back to life in their full splendour.
Dr Xavier Bray has been Chief Curator at Dulwich Picture Gallery since January 2011. He completed his doctoral dissertation, Royal Religious Commissions as Political Propaganda in Spain under Charles III at Trinity College, Dublin, in 1999. Between 1998 and 2000, he was Assistant Curator at the National Gallery in London, where he co-curated exhibitions such as Orazio Gentileschi at the Court of Charles I (1998-99), A Brush with Nature. The Gere Collection of Landscape Oil Sketches (1999) and The Image of Christ: Seeing Salvation (2000). He was also the curator of a Room 1 exhibition at the British Museum on Goya's Family of the Infante Don Luis (2001-2002). Between 2000 and 2002 he was Chief Curator at the Museum of Fine Arts in Bilbao where he organised exhibitions such as An Intimate Vision - Women Impressionists (2001-2002) and a focused exhibition on Vicente Lopez: Court Painter to Fernando VII (2002). On his return to the National Gallery in 2002 as Assistant Curator of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European paintings, he was the co-curator of El Greco (2004), Caravaggio (2005), Velazquez (2006). He recently curated his first solo show The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture 1600-1700 (2009) and is now working on an exhibition of Goya's Portraits for the National Gallery due to open in 2015.
1.Introduction 2.The Painter: Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1618-1682) 3.The Collector: Noel Desenfans (Dates) 4.The Beggar Boys 5.The Flower Girl 6.The Madonna of the Rosary 7.To be or Not to Be Murillo 8.Chronology