Sevillian Baroque periods
It is in the 17th century when Sevillians painters reach their greatest splendor, bringing their influence to numerous followers. Faced with mannerist idealism, the Baroque brings the triumph of naturalism. The development of the Sevillian Baroque painting can be divided into three periods:
- Initial or transition period where artists such as Juan del Castillo, Antonio Mohedano, Francisco Herrera el Viejo or Juan de Roelas stand out.
- Plenitude period constituted by the work of Francisco de Zurbarán, whose tenebrism will seduce the most universal Sevillian painter, Velázquez.
- The third period is composed of such popular Sevillians painters as Bartolomé Esteban Murillo and Juan de Valdés Leal.
Sevillians Baroque painters
In this article about the painting of the Sevillian Baroque school, we make a selection of some of the most interesting painters of the period:
Juan del Castillo (1593-1657?)
Although the place and date of his birth are unknown, it seems that it must have been in Seville around 1593. He formed his own style of bright colors with a certain kind tone and popular charm that could pass in a transformed way to his disciples. In fact, his fame is largely due to the fact that he was Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s teacher. The best of his works, between 1634 and 1636, was the main altarpiece of the Santa María de Montesión convent in Seville. The Assumption of the Virgin is the central painting of this altarpiece and is preserved in the Museum of Fine Arts.
Francisco de Herrera el Viejo (1590-1654)
Born in Seville and disciple of Francisco Pacheco. He is considered, along with Juan de Roelas, the painter of the transition from Mannerism to Baroque. Among his outstanding works we find The Apotheosis of San Hermenegildo (1520), preserved in the Museum of Fine Arts in Seville and which belonged to the group of 18 oils that made up the great altarpiece of San Basilio. Curiously, one of the works that made up this altarpiece, “San Basilio dictando su doctrina”, is currently in the Louvre Museum. Herrera had a vigorous, dynamic and daring style for the Sevillian artistic scene of the moment.
Diego Velázquez (1599-1660)
Diego Velázquez is considered one of the greatest exponents of Spanish painting and a master of universal painting. In his early years as a painter in Seville he developed a naturalistic style of tenebrist lighting, a clear influence of Caravaggio. At the age of 24 he moved to Madrid, being appointed as painter to King Felipe IV. Four years later he was appointed court painter. His works include “La Rendición de Breda” (1635) or “Las Meninas” (1656).
Juan de Valdés Leal (1622-1690)
Valdés Leal is well-known for the two works, “In Ictu Oculi” and “Finis Gloriae Mundi”, painted around 1672 for the Church of San Jorge of the Hospital de la Caridad in Seville, where they can still be admired today. Both works are integrated into the iconographic program of the chapel, harmonically illustrating way of thinking of Miguel de Mañara, renovator of the “Hermandad de la Santa Caridad”. It must be recognized that in the shadow of the contemporary Bartolome Esteban Murillo, the influence of Valdés Leal was limited.
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682)
Murillo is always presented as the main personality of the Seville school since he left his influence on numerous disciples until well into the 18th century. It was formed in late Naturalism and evolved into full Baroque. Most of his production consists of works of a religious nature for churches and convents in Seville, but he also cultivated genre painting independently. You can discover one of Murillo’s works with one of the most peculiar stories in the Seville Cathedral, La Visión de San Antonio.