Francisco de Zurbarán

20 08 2015

Zurbarán was born in 1598 in Fuente de Cantos, Extremadura; he was baptized on November 7 of that year.[2][3][4] His parents were Luis de Zurbarán, a haberdasher, and his wife, Isabel Márquez.[3][4] In childhood he set about imitating objects with charcoal. In 1614 his father sent him to Seville to apprentice for three years with Pedro Díaz de Villanueva, an artist of whom very little is known.

He painted directly from nature, and he made great use of the lay-figure in the study of draperies, in which he was particularly proficient. He had a special gift for white draperies; as a consequence, the houses of the white-robed Carthusians are abundant in his paintings. To these rigid methods, Zurbarán is said to have adhered throughout his career, which was prosperous, wholly confined to Spain, and varied by few incidents beyond those of his daily labour. His subjects were mostly severe and ascetic religious vigils, the spirit chastising the flesh into subjection, the compositions often reduced to a single figure. The style is more reserved and chastened than Caravaggio’s, the tone of color often quite bluish. Exceptional effects are attained by the precisely finished foregrounds, massed out largely in light and shade.

You can see the beginnings of Surrealism in these Christian paintings. And the source material for a lot of horror films.


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