Saturday, February 18, 2012

Two Trinities by Bartolome Murillo

The Two Trinities (1682) by Bartolome Murillo
New Zealand 3d Stamp Issued Christmas 1965
National Gallery, London
Murillo (1617-1682) specialised in religious paintings as one of two leading artists in 17th Century Spain - the other being Velazquez.  This painting features two trinities - the first being the Holy Trinity of father, son and ghost, while the other is the earthly trinity of Mary, Joseph and Jesus - the holy family.  The light and mood in this painting is very striking.

Murillo faced extensive personal loss during his long life.  He outlived three wives and all but three of his nine children.  He also survived the plague that hit Seville in 1649, wiping out half the population of the city.  No wonder his work included heavenly clouds and cherubs, as it must have been a welcome way to avoid all the death and sadness on earth!

Another of Murillo's works features in a UK stamp issue in 1967: Madonna in the Clouds.

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