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

The Walpole Immaculate Conception

c. 1680
Oil on canvas, 195 x 145
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

In his mature religious canvases Murillo follows schemes tried and tested by his predecessors, including those for the Immaculate Conception. Here the Mother of God is depicted in heaven, surrounded by angels and transfused by divine light. The typical Baroque dynamic movement and expressive use of light and shade are coupled with a note of tender joy that brought the artist broad approbation.

In the 18th century the painting was in the collection of Sir Robert Walpole, Houghton Hall.