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Cover for Murillo


Virtuoso Draftsman

Jonathan Brown


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Known primarily as a great painter, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682) was also one of the best draftsmen of the 17th century. Although his devotional paintings seem to have been created effortlessly, they are the result of careful thought and study, a process that comes alive in the preparatory drawings. Murillo used a variety of techniques, favoring pen and ink and brown wash and red-and-black chalk. Like painters schooled in Italian Renaissance practice, the Spaniard developed his paintings in stages, starting with sketches of the full composition and then focusing on details that posed specific problems. Occasionally, Murillo used drawings as a medium for original compositions; these are highly finished pieces, usually enhanced by the use of wash and unmistakably stamped with the artist's personality. 

This sumptuous book is a thoroughly revised edition of the 1976 publication Murillo & His Drawings. Twenty sheets have been added to the catalogue of authentic works, the bibliography has been brought up to date, and the entries have been revised.

Yale University Press, 9780300175707, 316pp.

Publication Date: June 5, 2012

About the Author

Jonathan Brown has been Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Fine Arts at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, since 1973. He is recognized as the leading scholar of 17th-century Spanish painting and is the author of numerous books on the subject.