Timeline of Bartolomé Murillo's Life

Self-portrait, 1670

1617 Murillo is born in Seville at the end of December.

1627 Murillo's father dies.

1628 Murillo's mother passes away. At the age of nine, Murillo is raised by one of his older sisters and her husband, Juan Agustín de Lagares.

1633 Murillo is about to leave for America, but he does not make the trip.

1635 Murillo begins his apprenticeship as a painter in the studio of Juan del Castillo, who was married to one of Murillo's cousins.

Virgin Presenting Rosary to St. Dominic, 1638

1642 Probable trip to Madrid, where he may have had contact with Velázquez and where he plans a trip to Italy.

1645 At age twenty-seven, Murillo marries Beatriz Cabrera, with whom he would have ten children. In the same year, Murillo receives the first commission of his career for the cloisters of the San Francisco el Grande convent in Seville. He would work on it from 1645 to 1648. The series narrates some of the stories of the Franciscan order saints and demonstrates his affinity for chiaroscuro.

The Young Beggar, 1645-1650

1649 Due to the impact of the plague, Murillo receives no new commissions, but he does complete a number of devotional images as well as secular paintings.

1650 Murillo completes the first of his Immaculate Conception paintings, named Immaculate Conception (La Colosal).

Virgin of the Rosary, 1650

1655 Francisco de Herrera the Younger, a native of Madrid, arrives in Seville after having lived in Italy for several years. This painter's influence would inform Murillo's work immediately, as he begins positioning figures with backlighting. Two important groups of paintings belong to this time period: three monumental paintings of John the Baptist and the Prodigal Son series.

1658 Murillo moves to Madrid. In the Court, he makes contact with Sevillian painters residing there: Velázquez, Zurbarán, and Cano. This is the only proven trip taken by Murillo. He stays a few months and returns to Seville.

1660 Murillo, along with Francisco de Herrera the Younger, founds a painting academy where artists can practice and perfect their skills. This year, he paints The Birth of the Virgin, one of his most significant works, for the Chapel of Concepción Grande, the Sevillian cathedral. Also this year, Murillo completes a series of four paintings depicting stories of Jacob.

Annunciation, 1660

1662 Murillo begins a commission of four semicircular paintings for the church of Santa María la Blanca in Seville. The paintings represent the stories of the establishment of the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica in Rome, the Immaculate Conception, and the Triumph of the Eucharist.

1663 Murillo's wife passes away. Murillo is then left in the company of four of his children who have survived. As his children leave home, Murillo is left only with Gaspar Esteban and his servants.

St. Justa and St. Rufina, 1665

1666 Murillo begins his series on works of mercy for the Brotherhood of the Holy Charity. Miguel Mañara had launched the remodel of the San Jorge Chapel. The series is comprised of six paintings, four of which were robbed and are now dispersed throughout the world.

St. Elizabeth of Hungary Healing the Sick, 1667

1670 The king of Spain, Carlos II, offers to move Murillo to Madrid to paint in the Court. However, Murillo remains in Seville for the rest of his days.

The Immaculate Conception of the Venerable Ones or of Soult, 1678

1682 While working on a large painting for the altarpiece for the Capuchin Church of Cadiz, Murillo suffers a fall and passes away a few months later, on April 3 to be exact. He is buried in the church of Santa Cruz.


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