The paintings of Murillo: A reflection of life in 17th-century Seville

Date and time

Monday 5 June, 1–1.45pm

Sainsbury Wing Theatre

Siân Walters


Admission free

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the birth of the Spanish painter Bartolomé Esteban Murillo in Seville. Murillo remained in the city for almost all of his working life, and his paintings are not only a valuable testament to the religious climate of the city following the Counter-Reformation, but they are also important documents which tell us a great deal about society and everyday life at the time.

Focusing on his works at the National Gallery, this lecture describes some of the images of street orphans and flower girls with which he is often associated, explaining the reasons behind their creation.

This talk also examines some of the beautiful large-scale religious works and analyses their iconography. The lecture compares Murillo’s work to that of his two great contemporaries, Zurbarán and Velázquez, and demonstrates how his work took a radically different turn.

Lunchtime talks

Focus in on one painting with our talks in the Gallery, or explore wider themes in the collection at our in-depth theatre talks.

Supported by the John Armitage Charitable Trust 

Image above: Detail from Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, A Peasant Boy leaning on a Sill, 1670–80