Murillo’s style represents a confluence of Spanish Caravaggism, Venetian theatricality and Flemish Baroque. His works are an inventive fusion, integrating his talent for portraiture and genre painting into a highly distinctive religious idiom. His works were greatly admired, especially during the nineteenth century, but were later considered overly sentimental and religiose. He painted a wide variety of subjects from Biblical scenes to portraits and genre scenes, but his fame rests chiefly on his devotional works, especially subjects like the Immaculate Conception, dedicated to the cult of the Virgin Mary, which enjoyed enormous popularity in seventeenth-century Spain.
Books on Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Xavier F. Salomon, et al., Murillo: The Self-Portraits, exh. cat. New York, 2017.
Manuela M. Marqués and Virginia A. Martin, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682), dibujos : catálogo razonado, Santander, 2015.
Gabriele Finaldi, ed., Murillo and Justino de Neve: The Art of Friendship, exh. cat. Madrid, 2012.
Jonathan Brown, Murillo: Virtuoso Draftsman, New Haven, 2011.
Susanne Stratton-Pruitt and Jonathan Brown, Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1617-1682): Paintings from American Collections, exh. cat. New York, 2002.
Jonathan Brown and Richard G. Mann, Spanish Paintings of the Fifteenth through Nineteenth Centuries, Cambridge, 1990.
Diego Angulo Iñiguez, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 1617-1682, exh. cat. London, 1982.
Diego Angulo Iñiguez, Murillo: Su vida, su arte, su obra, 3 vols. Madrid, 1981.
Antonio Palomino de Castro y Lelasco, Lives of the Eminent Spanish Painters and Sculptors, 1715-24, trans. Nina Alaya Mallory, Cambridge, 1987.