“Two women in the window,” Bartolome Esteban Murillo – overview of the painting

“Two women in the window,” Bartolome Esteban Murillo – overview of the painting
“Two women in the window,” Bartolome Esteban Murillo - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Bartolome Esteban Murillo
  • Museum: National Art Gallery (Washington)
  • Year: 1655-1660

Overview of the painting :

Two women in the window – Bartolome Esteban Murillo. 1655-1660. Oil on canvas. 125 x 104 cm

   Many portraits of Murillo have an unusual community: it uses a “intentional frame” or draws framing in the picture itself. The effect becomes more pronounced in his self-portrait of 1670, when the artist’s hand captures the frame in which he is depicted. And even in “Two Women by the Window”, the figures look out of the window frame, as if from the picture itself.

   “Two women” is a unique canvas, a world masterpiece. Double portrait combined with a genre image. This is a street scene, but the object of contemplation itself does not appear. On it, two women look out the open window. The terrain in front of them is implied. This covered scene is based on the open world in front of it.

   The frame of the window is close to the edge of the image. It is an illusion that women are looking directly at the gallery. The space of the viewer is equivalent to the Spanish street, on which something interesting happens.

   You are a life passing by, that person, a man on the street who goes and catches the gaze of a young woman.

   A young girl, bolder, more attractive, has priority. Most likely, this girl from a rich family is not yet married. She was funny, playful, curious. An elderly aunt – her duel, looking into the field of vision, is a secondary figure. Her obsessive, observational presence reinforces the intimate exchange between a young woman and a man on the street.

   A young girl shamelessly examines passers-by, there is nothing arrogant in her. She is brave, open, not spoiled by society, prejudice. Duenya is modest, shameless for show. A woman is gnawed by curiosity, but she cannot show it.

   Here the sentimentality inherent in many genre canvases does not find a place for itself. Women have individual features: eye expression, facial expressions, emotions, facial features. At the same time, the images are generalized. Their clothes, poses, the hairstyle of a young person, a scarf and bashfulness of a douen, morals are traditional for representatives of that time and place.

   The space behind the ladies is darkened. The room does not matter for the plot of the canvas. All attention is directed to girls and contemplators themselves, who are involved in what is happening.