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

Immaculate Conception

Oil on canvas, 96 x 64 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

Murillo's Immaculada has nothing of a Queen of Heavens. Standing on a crescent moon, as described in the Apocalypse, surrounded by angels holding the mirror as a sign of purity and the palm frond as a sign of suffering, she stands in a relatively unaffected poses. Her face is pale, her eyes gaze upwards in yearning. We can sense the pain she has experienced and her mourning for her son. Quiet and introverted, she epitomises the humble anticipation of the hereafter, transfigured only by a mild smile, that is a hallmark of Murillo's paintings of this period; the 'Estilo vaporoso' - the vaporous style.