“Four pieces on a step,” Murillo – overview of the painting

“Four pieces on a step,” Murillo – overview of the painting
“Four pieces on a step,” Murillo - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Bartolome Esteban Murillo
  • Museum: Kimbell Art Museum
  • Year: 1655

Overview of the painting :

Four figures on the step – Bartolome Esteban Murillo. 1655. Oil on canvas. 110 x 143 cm

   In addition to biblical motives, Bartolome Esteban Murillo has many genre works. Such scenes the artist always turned out to be alive, emotionally saturated, causing a smile.

   The Four Figures on the Step reveals several images of heroes. In the picture we see a rich Spanish family. An elderly mother gives the impression of a strict, respectable, but kind woman. She is restrained, modest, but neatly dressed. Round glasses in black frame give a look of solidity. At the same time, we can conclude that a woman has been engaged in needlework all her life, which ruined her eyesight. She is hardworking, nothing in her life went for her gift, which cannot be said about her children.

   Behind all is the eldest daughter of the heroine. She was cheerful, but trying to seem serious, even angry, mourning the displeased grimace, which is impossible to deceive the viewer. She has the same white scarf as her mother, a symbol of female modesty and spiritual purity. But for a young girl, he is only a formality. She casually raises this item of the wardrobe. Judging by the face, she has a strong-willed character. Despite a cheerful disposition, the heroine knows where the border of pampering and serious actions is. Therefore, holds his brother’s mischief with his firm hand.

   In the foreground we see a teenage boy. He is dressed very freely for the growing young man of that time. Behaves the same way. The guy has an open smile and a cunning squint of his eyes, as if he was laughing at someone or was planning another mischief.

   The first plan with him is shared by a small tomboy. This is either a poor child whom the old woman warmed on her lap, or a boy from their family. But in the process of childish games, he tore his clothes in the most interesting place, which will amuse, make other heroes laugh.

   All characters of the canvas, except the baby, are turned to face the viewer. Everyone expresses a keen interest and genuine emotions. It’s like they are so attracted to them in the gallery, where the contemplator of the picture stands. Here you can draw analogies with another genre picture of the author – “Two women in the window”. There, heroines are also interested in what is happening outside the canvas. These paintings leave pleasant emotions after viewing.