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Saint Felix de Cantalice with the Christ Child

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo1665/1666

Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla

Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla

The way in which Murillo, already mature, produces the characterization of the old age of Saint Felix in this painting is remarkable. Wrinkles gained over the years are not only traced by brushstroke, but are also marked using the brush tip. This expressive method, conceived because of the height of the canvas, is a magnificent example of his mastery of the use of pictorial technique that he achieved in the final decades of his career. Saint Anthony of Padua and Saint Felix of Cantalice are the only saints that we find repeated in the cycle of cappuccinos, repeated perhaps due to the chronological process of creation of the series. It is possible that, once the altarpiece was finished, it was decided to dedicate a greater role to both saints, with a chapel of their own also being dedicated to them.

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