The following is a guest post written exclusively for Spain Savvy by Lucy Williams
In 2018, Seville is celebrating the Year of Murillo. But, who was Murillo and why is he important?
Murillo was a Spanish Baroque painter, born in Seville 400 years ago this year. He was best known for his religious paintings, but he also painted portraits of women and children which are considered lively and realistic works for the time. In 1645, he painted 11 canvases for the San Francisco convent in Seville, depicting the miracles of Franciscan saints. These paintings include beautiful female figures and angels, realistic still-life details and combine beauty with the spiritual world, all elements that his later work would be famous for. In 1645, Murillo finished his first painting of children with the Velázquez-influenced The Young Beggar (Musée du Louvre).
After a period in Madrid between 1658 and 1660, he returned to Seville and was one of the founders of the Academia de Bellas Artes (Academy of Fine Arts) in Seville and served as its joint director in 1660. He was very active during this time, painting the altarpieces for the Augustinian monastery, the paintings for Santa María la Blanca (1665), and others. He died in Seville in 1682 at the age of 64.
Artists like Gainsborough and Greuze were influenced by Murillo and his work is exhibited in the Museo del Prado in Madrid; Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia; and the Wallace Collection in London.
To commemorate 400 years since the birth of its famous son, Seville has organized a series of activities: walks and visits, leisure options and culinary activities, partnering with private tourism companies.
Here are just some that we’d recommend. For a full list, including suggested itineraries to explore Murillo’s Seville on your own, check out this link
Night-time tour of the Hospital de la Caridad by the light of oil lamps (Visita nocturna: El Hospital de la Caridad a luz de los candiles)
An amazing night-time tour of to the historic Hospital de la Caridad. The lights are turned out and the tour is conducted by oil lamp. Visit some of the places where the artist worked.
A day with Murillo (Un día con Murillo)
Enjoy a full day dedicated to the life of the artist with visits to various emblematic buildings which house his works and works by other artists such as Zurbarán or Valdés Leal. Discover the city where Murillo lived and the places that inspired his paintings.
Murillo for children (Murillo para niños)
A fun way for children to discover Murillo’s paintings through theatre.
Murillo’s paintings brought to life at the Museum of Fine Arts (Murillo en el Museo de Bellas Artes cobra vida)
This activity at Seville’s Museum of Fine Arts (Museo de Bellas Artes) brings Murillo’s paintings to life. Aimed at both children and adults, it is great way to discover the museum and the artist.
Wine tasting (Cata de vinos en tiempos de Murillo)
Try wines from Seville, Cádiz and Madrid and experience the flavors that were common during the Spanish Golden Age. Participants will also try wines from the Sierra Norte de Sevilla, as well as wines that we know were drunk at the royal court in Madrid and in Cadiz during Murillo’s time.
Murillo and the five senses. Tastes and customs (Murillo y los cinco sentidos. Sabores y saberes)
This tour will introduce you to typical tapas, accompanied by explanations by the tour guide.
Photo booth props at the Mercado Lonja del Barranco
The Mercado de Lonja del Barranco has two life-sized photo booth props of figures from Murillo’s paintings. Come and have your photo taken and travel back in time.
With some much going on to celebrate this famous artist, it’s a great time to visit this stunning Andalusian city! Contact us today to request a Murillo-flavored visit to Seville.