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Art Curatorial

From the Collection–Francisco de Zurbarán’s Saint Francis of Assisi in His Tomb

Francisco de Zurbarán (Spanish, 1598–1664). Saint Francis of Assisi in His Tomb, 1630/34. Oil on canvas. Milwaukee Art Museum, Purchase. Photo credit John R. Glembin
Francisco de Zurbarán (Spanish, 1598–1664). Saint Francis of Assisi in His Tomb, 1630/34. Oil on canvas. Milwaukee Art Museum, Purchase. Photo credit John R. Glembin

The Milwaukee Art Museum’s painting by Francisco de Zurbarán (Spanish, 1598–1664), Saint Francis of Assisi in His Tomb, has been popular with museum goers since it entered the collection in 1958. This is probably not surprising, since Zurbarán’s work is infused with a humanity that connects instantly with viewers.

Some of this power derives from the fact that Zurbarán based his painting style on traditional polychrome sculptures found in Spanish churches. Just like his better-known contemporary, Diego Velazquez (Spanish, 1599–1660), Zurbarán’s hyper-realistic paintings helped to inspire devotion in seventeenth-century Catholic Spain. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at how Zurbarán inspired devotion not only in seventeenth-century Spain, but also how he does it today.

Categories
Art Curatorial

From the Collection—Drawing in the Sand by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida

Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (Spanish, 1863–1923). Drawing in the Sand, ca. 1911. Oil on canvas, 21 x 25 1/4 in. (53.34 x 64.14 cm). Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of the Samuel O. Buckner Collection. Photo credit Larry Sanders
Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (Spanish, 1863–1923). Drawing in the Sand, ca. 1911. Oil on canvas, 21 x 25 1/4 in. (53.34 x 64.14 cm). Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of the Samuel O. Buckner Collection. Photo credit Larry Sanders

A young boy kneels at the beach, drawing a sailboat into the wet sand with a stick.  The sun beats on his bare skin and makes him almost glow with warmth and light.  Behind him, water licks at his feet, cool and tempting.  Although he is intent on his project, we know that once he has gotten too hot, he will lose interest and go back into the water.

Now that’s it September, I thought we’d have one more taste of summer by exploring Drawing in the Sand by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (Spanish, 1863-1923), which is on view in Gallery 11.