Zurbarán based himself in Seville, like the younger Murillo, at that time a world city and a major entrepot for the New World. His works are seen as archetypally Spanish in their austerity. It is debatable whether his dramatic chiaroscuro is due to the influence of Caravaggio (1571–1610), and the stark simplicity of his work may owe something to the monumental still lives of Sánchez Cotán (1560–1627), and the hyper-realism of Spanish polychrome sculpture.
Books on Zurbarán
Odile Delenda and María del Mar Borobia Guerrero, Zurbarán: A New Perspective, exh. cat., Madrid, 2015.
Odile Delenda, Francisco de Zurbaran 1598-1664, Madrid, 2009.
Jonathan Brown, Francisco de Zurbarán, New York, 1991.
Antonio Palomino de Castro y Lelasco, Lives of the Eminent Spanish Painters and Sculptors, 1715-24, trans. Nina Alaya Mallory, Cambridge, 1987.