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<em>Velázquez Centre</em>

Velázquez Centre

Focus Foundation

Francisco de Zurbarán

(Fuente de Cantos, Badajoz, 1598 – Madrid, 1664)
Artist biography

The Immaculate, c. 1650

Oil on canvas

220 x 119 cm.

Seville City Council

The Immaculate, c. 1650

This artwork is a clear example of the Immaculate Conception style developed in Seville, and it forms a perfect dialogue with the works by Montañés and Herrera the Elder, which are also housed in the Velázquez Centre. Zurbarán, like Murillo, can be regarded as the painter of Immaculate Conceptions, because he painted them throughout his entire career, from his beginnings in Seville right through to his final years in Madrid. This work came to the City Council in 1837 from the Convent del Pópulo, and is an excellent example of the evolution of this subject matter towards more lively and baroque versions around 1650. The Virgin, static and looking heavenwards, hovers over a half moon and four heads of cherubim, set against a luminous mass of golden clouds that highlight her mobile silhouette, which is longer than in previous versions. This format forms a link with another similar painting held at the Cerralbo Museum in Madrid, although in that one the iconographic features are different.

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