MURILLO, Bartolomé Esteban
(b. 1617, Sevilla, d. 1682, Sevilla)

The Young Beggar

c. 1645
Oil on canvas, 134 x 100 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

This painting was painted at the beginning of Murillo's career. It is without doubt one of the first of the genre scenes in which he shows street urchins. Later his taste for the picturesque sometimes became merely anecdotal, but here the sincerity of his observation and the vigour of his technique place Murillo in the pure tradition of the Spanish 'tenebrismo' of the young Velázquez and of Zurbarán. It is not surprising that later painters like Courbet, Manet, and Monet admired such works.