CHILD JESUS AND INFANT SAINT JOHN. PAIR OF OIL ON CANVASES. RELATED TO THE CIRCLE OF MURILLO, BARTOLOMÉ ESTEBAN. SPANISH SCHOOL, 17TH CENTURY.

Antiques -
Reference: ZF1145

Sleeping Baby Jesus and Saint John, couple. Oil paintings on canvas. Linked to the environment of MURILLO, Bartolomé Esteban (Seville, b. 1618-1682). Spanish school, 17th century. Pair of oil paintings on landscape canvas that match both the background and the subject. Two full-length male child figures, partially dressed, are presented on separate stone supports partially located outside the composition in both cases, and, in the background, a large dark area and darkened hanging fabrics (one green and the other red). On the back each canvas presents a label from the Board of Seizure and Protection of Spanish Artistic Heritage. In one of the paintings, San Juanito Niño is presented, reclining, dressed in a skin and a red cloak (contrasting with the green fabric in the background), carrying the staff with the usual cross and phylactery, and accompanied by a lamb. Compare with Murillo's drawing of this subject kept by the Metropolitan Museum in New York (inventory 63.5); the canvas of Saint John playing with a Lamb from the National Gallery of Ireland, also by Murillo. In the other, the Infant Jesus appears asleep, with his head resting on a cushion and a cross behind his back, alluding to the Passion. There is knowledge of a work by Murillo with this theme and presentation in the collections of the Palace of Boadilla del Monte in Madrid of the infant Don Luis Antonio Jaime de Borbón y Farnesio (1727-1785). Likewise, it is an iconography that inspired several masters: Cornelis Schut painted an oil painting with this image around 1670/1680. In both cases, these are iconography highly appreciated during the Baroque, not only in the Spanish school, but it is in this environment where they acquire outstanding importance thanks to masters such as Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. This Sevillian baroque painter had a large number of disciples and followers, who carried his influence well into the 18th century. In addition, he was a teacher of international fame, an audience that liked, above all, his genre scenes, rare in the Hispanic environment. Regarding the couple in question, it seems that it was a common theme in their production and that of their circle, frequently destined for private oratorios. According to experts, most of the preserved ones were made between 1650 and 1660, with a still chiaroscuro technique and with a pronounced naturalistic sense of childlike grace.

· Size: 96x8x79 cms. int: 73,5x55.5 cms.

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