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"Bought by the Gallery’s founders as a painting by Murillo, this work was later thought to be a copy. Recent cleaning has removed layers of yellowed varnish to reveal beautifully painted passages, particularly in the Virgin’s mantle and the facial expressions of the angels. Such evident skill would suggest that it was painted by assistants in Murillo’s studio, or at least someone working closely with the artist.
Except for the pose of the Virgin’s head, the composition relates directly to an engraving of 1794 by Francisco de Paula Marti (1761-1827) after a painting by Murillo now thought to be lost."

Details

  • Title: The Immaculate Conception of the Virgin
  • Date: 17th century
  • Physical Dimensions: w298 x h375 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil
  • Work Nationality: Spanish
  • Support: Canvas
  • Provenance: London, Sir Francis Bourgeois, 1811; Bourgeois Bequest, 1811.
  • Further Information: Listed as by Murillo in Desenfans' 1804 fire insurance list, this painting was downgraded in 1981 to the status of a copy. However, after cleaning and restoration in 2012 the removal of layers of yellowed varnish and of later retouching has revealed brilliantly painted passages, particularly in the Virgin's mantle and the facial expressions of the angels. Except for the pose of the Virgin's head, the present composition relates directly to an engraving of 1794 by Francisco de Paula Marti (1761-1827) after a painting by Murillo long thought to be lost.
  • After: Murillo, Bartolomé Estéban
  • Acquisition Method: Bourgeois, Sir Peter Francis (Bequest, 1811)

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