ZURBARÁN, Francisco de
(b. 1598, Fuente de Cantos, d. 1664, Madrid)

Still-Life with Pottery Jars

c. 1660
Oil on canvas, 46 x 84 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

The bleak, austere piety of Zurbarán's early pictures of saints, painted for more severe religious orders, made him the ideal painter of simple doctrinal altarpieces expressed in clear, sober colour, with figures of massive solidity and solemnity, and with a Tenebrism owing little to Caravaggio or Ribera, but developed straight out of southern Spanish traditions of unidealized representations. For the same reason, he was one of the finest still-life painters.