Sol Yoon

Baroque, Dutch Golden Age

Probable self-portrait of Francisco de Zurbarán as Saint Luke, c. 1635–1640 (source)

The artist I will introduce today is Francisco de Zurbaran. He was baptized from the day he was born and was a passionate Spanish painter for religion until he was put in God’s arms again.

portrait of Francisco Zumel (1633) (source)

He is mainly famous for describing monks, nuns, martyrs, and still life. He used powerful and realistic contrast, which earned him the nickname Spanish Caravaggio.

When he was young, he drew things along with charcoal. Usually, if a child were given charcoal, he would have scribbled or played a joke. So his father recognized his talent and sent him to Seville as an apprentice for three years.

Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose (1633) (source)
Adoration of Shepherds, 1638 (source)

He established a style of personality on the light and shade laws of Caravaggio and Jose de Rivera, with no bluffing realism, frugal composition. But also the dramatic technique of tenebrism whereby human shapes and facial features are often depicted in shadow. He left many very precise, solemn, and mysterious paintings. He loved the quality and quantity of goods, and there is no comparison in his expression of nature.

Adoration of the Magi (1639-1640) (source)

He is a great painter, but I don’t think he was a good father and husband.
In 1617, he married Maria Paet, a 9-year-old girl, but she died after giving birth to a third child. However, he married a wealthy widow a year after Maria’s death.

After his wife’s death, the rapidly changing atmosphere of the world since 1640 and his strict and hard work did not match well, and his reputation gradually declined.

1 Comment

  1. Sol,
    Hey nice post on this most interesting and mysterious Spanish painter from the Baroque period. You have good information through your research and some personal thoughts and insights to the work in question. I like it when students choose more obscure (and in this case fascinating) artists. I’m giving you 2/2 on your first two posts. Well Done!

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