“Blessed”, Bartolome Esteban Murillo – overview of the painting

“Blessed”, Bartolome Esteban Murillo – overview of the painting
"Blessed", Bartolome Esteban Murillo - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Bartolome Esteban Murillo
  • Museum: Hermitage
  • Year: 1660-1680

Overview of the painting :

Annunciation – Bartolome Esteban Murillo. 1660-1680. Oil on canvas. 107 x 142 cm

   Annunciation is a biblical event when the Archangel Gabriel informs the Virgin Mary that she is expecting a child – the son of God Jesus Christ.

   This scene from the Old Testament is depicted in a painting by Bartolome Esteban Murillo. Directly the descent of the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary and her acceptance of the fact that she will become the mother of God through the intercession of the Holy Spirit.

   On the right side of the canvas we see the Virgin. She has a modest, innocent face with easy child swelling. A omitted face, a look from the eyelids and arms crossed on the chest speak of accepting the will of God, humility. Scarlet satin robe personifies blood, and an air white scarf – spiritual purity and physical. Near the heroine is a basket covered with snow-white linen, prepared for the baby. This suggests that the girl is aware of her role and is ready for the baby to appear.

   The left side of the canvas is occupied by Gabriel himself. This is a beautiful, very young young man with a calm, spiritualized face. He reaches out to Mary. A white dove flies over them. This is not only a symbol of peace and good news. A shining halo around the bird suggests that it is the Holy Spirit. Even higher are the little angels who rejoice in the news.

   The virgin is accompanied by three of her traditional attributes: a sewing basket and a book that symbolize her hard work, devotion, wisdom; and a bouquet of snow-white lilies that symbolize her purity, integrity. This biblical painting belonged to the type of simple, very gentle work that was in great demand in Seville society after the 1649 plague epidemic. This clean and kind work helped people believe in life again, a bright future.

   The canvas leaves exceptionally bright emotions after viewing. The artist himself considered the “Bless” one of his best works.