Francisco de Zurbarán

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Zurbarán, Francisco de

 

Baptized Nov. 7, 1598, in Fuente de Cantos, Badajoz; died Aug. 27, 1664, in Madrid. Spanish painter.

Zurbarán studied in Sevilla with P. D. de Villanueva (from 1614) and, possibly, with F. Pacheco. He lived and worked in Llerena (Badajoz) from 1617 to 1628, at which time he settled in Sevilla.

Zurbarán’s most characteristic paintings are devoted to themes from the lives of saints and monasticism (for example, St. Bonaventura Praying Before the Election of Pope Gregory X, 1629, Dresden Picture Gallery). His early works show the strong influence of Caravaggio (for example, the retablo of St. Peter’s chapel in the Sevilla Cathedral, 1625). Works from Zurbarán’s most prolific period, from 1630 through the 1640’s, are marked by austere and simple monumental images that are dramatically intense yet nobly restrained in emotion. Beginning in the 1650’s elements of emotional excitation of an ecstatic or more lyrical tone appeared in the artist’s paintings (for example, The Crucifixion, early 1660’s, Hermitage, Leningrad). Zurbarán also painted mythological scenes, portraits, and still lifes.

REFERENCES

Malitskaia, K. M. Fransisko Surbaran: 1598–1664. Moscow, 1963.
Guinard, P. Zurbarán et les peintres espagnols de la vie monastique. Paris, 1960.