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ZURBARAN

Francisco de Zurbáran 1598-1664    

 

 

Zurbaran was born in 1598 in Fuente de Cantos and trained as an artist in Seville in 1614-17 under Pedro Diaz da Villanueva. He returned to Llerena for some years before becoming established in Seville in 1629 as their main artist. It was a good period in Spain for an artist who could express the stern religious leanings of the church at the time. Consequently Zurbaran was commissioned to produce a whole series of ecclesiastical works ranging from altarpieces through portraits of saints to decorations for monasteries

 

immaculate conception - zurbaran

The Immaculate Conception

During the 1630s he painted many individual praying saints. They were usually rather solemn but impressive figures against plain backgrounds, matching the ascetic attitudes of the era. For example, he painted St Francis several times.

st francis praying - zurbaran

St Francis praying

During this period he also spent a couple of years in Madrid working for King Philip IV on a series of paintings on the Labours of Hercules and the Defense of Cadiz (refers to the repulsion of the English attack on the city).

defense of cadiz - zurbaran

The Defense of Cadiz

Eventually in the 1640s, his style waned as new artists like Murillo created less serious works with more popular appeal. Zurbaran moved to Madrid in 1658 and had to make a living as a rather unsuccessful art dealer and died in 1664.

labours of hercules - zurbaran

The Labours of Hercules

Other Spanish artists in addition to Zurbaran    

 


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