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Spanish Experts Divided Over Attribution of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo Painting
29.03.2021 Tessa Solomon
Art
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

A canvas attributed to Bartolomé Esteban Murillo has ignited debate among experts in Spain, with some claiming that the Baroque artist was not the one behind an Immaculate Conception scene currently on view in a Seville church.

The work first arrived at the San Vicente Mártir parish under mysterious circumstances sometime around 1840. At the time, it was unclear who painted it. In September 2019, the work underwent a brilliant restoration, and was rehung in a place of honor by the church’s baptismal font.

Among those who came to see it was Ignacio Cano, curator of the Museum of Fine Arts in Seville, who, after studying the work for several months alongside Antonio Romero, deemed it a genuine Immaculate Conception scene painted by Murillo sometime between 1640 and 1645. Until then, the oldest work by Murillo depicting the Vigin Mary was the enormous canvas Las Colosal, which dates to 1650. 

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