MURILLO,Bartolomé Esteban (1617-1682)
Santa Catalina de Alejandría (Saint Catherine of Alexandria)
Oil and canvas
Murillo, representative artist of the 17th century Spain, painted many religious paintings. Santa Catalina was the Christian maiden who was said to have been executed and martyrized by the Roman Emperor in the early 4th century. According to “Legenda Aurea”Catalina, a daughter of a royal family, was beheaded for rejecting the proposal of the Roman Emperor who was staying in Alexandria because of her faith.
On her head is a crown, and her arms are spread wide in front of the sword at her feet which was used to behead her. There appears an angel carrying a branch of a palm,symbolizing the victory of martyrdom..
Spain at the time when Murillo was active, was experiencing a period of confusion. Shadows were beginning to fall on the Golden Age, the plague was raging,and famine continued year after year.
For the Catholic Chruch, there was another problem;to confront the Reformation by the Protestants. For this reason, it was most urgent for the Church to innovate the religious paintings. Such was the background for the dramatic scens of saints dying for their faith depicted by Murillo.
As can be seen in this paintings, Santa Catalina's almost theatrical movement shows the characteristic of Baroque art at its zenith which expresses the upsurge of faith. Religious paintings by Murillo was also supported by the common people due to the usage of healthy, ordinary firls of southern Spain as his models.
|1836(12 April)||Baron of Taylor bought from the Duke of Híjar, Madrid|
|1838-1848||Louis Philippe, Galerie Espagnole au Louvre|
|1853(6 May)||Duke of Orleans’ Sale, Christie’s Lot 501.
The Duke of Cleveland and by descent to Lord Barnard, Raby Castles, County Durham
|1974||Arte Europa (Barcelona), Lot. 85, Christie’s, London|
|1990||Albion Art Japan Ltd.|
|1991||Mie Prefectural Art Museum|
Notice des Taleaux de la Galerie espagnole exposés dans les salles du Musée royal au Louvre, 1838, p.47, No.174.
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A. L. Mayer, Murillo, Des Meisters Gemälde, 1913, p.18 (reproduced as Heilige Agnes (St. Agnes/Saint Agnès)).
(A. L. Mayer, Murillo, Des Meisters Gemälde, 1923, p.20)
J.A. Gaya Nuño, La Pintura española fuera de España (Historia y Cátalogo), 1958, p.241, No.1854 (as Santa Inés(Saint Agnes).
E. Harris, “Spanish Painting at the Bowes Museum” in The Burlington Magazine, CIX, August 1967, p.484.
D. Angulo Íñiguez, Murillo, Vol.II (Cátalogo Crítico), 1981, p.243, No.291, Vol. III (Láminas) pl.31.
La Galerie espagnole de Louis-Philippe au Louvre 1838-1848, ed. by J. Baticle and C. Marinas, 1981, pp.128-129, No. 178.
125 Works of Art, Collection of Mie Prefectural Art Museum, Mie Prefecutral Art Museum, 1992, p92, p168, No. 75.
Selected Works from the Collection of the Mie Prefectural Art Museum, Mie Prefecutral Art Museum, 2003, p56, p162, No.57.
El joven Murillo. Guía de la exposición, Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla, 2010 (pp.79, 82-83/no.31)
Spanish Old Masters, Grafton Galleries, London, October 1913- January 1914, No. 160.
Four Centuries of Spanish Painting, The Bowes Museum Barnard Castle, County Durham, , 17th June- 17th September 1967, No. 70.
A Piece of Spanish Baroque Art, Fukuoka Kokusai Hall, October 29 -November 2 1990.
The Suma Collection Revisited: 500 Years of Spanish Art, Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum, p122, no.47.
El joven Murillo, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 19th October 2009 - 17th January 2010, Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla, 18th February - 30th May 2010, cat.no.34