Thursday, May 24, 2018

Museo de Bellas Artes in Seville & Bartolomé Murillo

Housed in the beautiful former Convento de la Merced, Seville's Fine Arts Museum provides an elegant showcase for a comprehensive collection of Spanish and Sevillan paintings and sculptures from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century, including a choice selection of works by artists from the Golden Age of Sevillian painting during the 17th century, such as Murillo, Zurbarán, Francisco de Herrera the younger, and Valdés Leal. The building itself was built in 1594, but the museum was founded in 1839, after the desamortizacion or shuttering of religious monasteries and convents, collecting works from across the city and region. The convent was built around a series of lovely leafy courtyards which were incorporated into the redesign of the art museum in 1839. Celebrating the 400th anniversary of the birth of Bartolome Esteban Murillo who was one of the most famous painters from Seville, there is a church at the far end of the museum which today serves as a gallery devoted to some of the artists outstanding works, in addition to a special exhibition entitled 'Murillo y los Capuchinos de Sevilla', a unique gathering of his famed Capuchin altarpiece of five outstanding paintings he created for the Capuchin Convent of Seville.

Claustro de los Bojes, the beautiful Tuscan courtyard that was one of the convent's courtyards incorporated into the redesign of the art museum in 1839

A lush garden of beautiful trees and gurgling fountains, 
the Museo courtyards are a lovely tranquil place to sit and relax

Fragrant orange blossoms

Blooming Natal Lillies

Detail of carved wooden door leading from the convent courtyard

Interior of the Museo de Bellas Artes

There were groups of young children being introduced to art in every museum we went to in Spain, which is an enormously positive trend but a tad noisy

'La Purificación' by Luis de Vargas, 1560

'Immaculada' by Juan de Valdes Leal, 1672

'Virgen con il Nino' by Francisco Pisano, 1529

Entrance to the 'Murillo y los Capuchinos de Sevilla' exhibition in the former convent Mercedario Church

Immaculate Conception of the Choir, 'The Girl', by Murillo 1668

'Ascension of the Virgin' by Murillo, 1634

'Immaculate Conception' by Murillo, 1652

'Immaculada' by Murillo, 1675

The Murillo Exhibition at the Museo

Collection of Murillo paintings in the convent's former church, 
with its impressive soaring vaulted ceiling

18th-century Sevillan Piano by Mirabal

'Retrato de Gustavo Adolfo Becquer' by Valeriano Becquer, 1862

'Pareja de Baile Sevillana' by José Garcia Ramos, 1885

Bilbao Martínez’s career reached its peak in 1915 with the painting Las cigarreras en la Fábrica de Tabacos de Sevilla - “Cigarette Girls at the Seville Tobacco Manufactory”

Detail of 'Las Ciggareros', by Gonzalo Bilbao Martinez, 1915

'Sevillano en su Patio' by Diego Lopez, 1918

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