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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/708

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MURILLO


044


MURILLO


to avoid romplications the liouso of Orirs was con- tinuoil in its former status as a priory ami incorporated witli the Swiss Abbey of Miiri, wliieli is ref;anl('d as temporarily located in its Austrian deix'ndeney, the Abbot of Muri being at the same time I'rior of (Jries. The persecution which drove the comiiuinity from its stately home at Muri seems in no way to have lessened the numbers and good works of the monks; indeed there has been a notable increase in the personnel of the convent in recent years and fresh ilemands are ever being made on their manifold activities. At Gries itself, the centre of this fraternity of nearly a hundred monks (over seventy priests and clerics, the rest lay-brothers), who constitute the monastic family of St. Martin of Muri, the monks conduct a college of 158 boys, and also a training college for schoolmasters attended by nearly sixty students; while at Sarnen in Switzerland their colleg<' educates about two hundred and forty boys, anil at the technical school in the same place, carried on by the monks, the classes number usually between seventy and eighty scholars. The Abbot of JMuri has under his care five "incorporated" parishes with two chapels of ease serving for the spir- itual needs of about nine thousand souls; another par- ish, not incorporated with the abbey, ministers to about 41S people; and the oversight of the convent long established at Hermetschwil-Habsthal near Muri is also included in the work of the monks of Muri-Gries.

Album Benedicluium (St. Vincent's, Pennsylvania, 1880); SS. Patriarchce Benedicti famiUs confaderatm (Rome, Vatican Press, 1903).

John Gilbert Dolan.

Murillo, Bartolom^ Esteban, Spani.sh painter; b. at Seville, 31 December, 1617; d. there 5 April, 1682. His familj' surname was Esteban; that of Murillo, which he assumed in accordance with an An- dalusian custom, was his mother's. His father was an artisan. An orphan at the age of ten, Bartolome was brought up by his uncle, J. A. Lagares, a barber. He became the pupil, probably while still very young, of Juan del Castillo, a mediocre painter, but good teacher, whose atelier was at that time much fre- quented. It is said that, to gain a living, the young man in those days made sargas — cheap paintings on rough canvas sold at country ferias (fairs), and shipped to America by traders. The Museum of Ca- diz claims, but without proof, that one of these Mu- rillo sargas is in its possession. In 1640 Castillo went to live at Cadiz. In the meantime, Moya, having just arrived from England, where he had been Van Dyck's pupil, showed Murillo, who was an old friend of his, the cartoons, drawings, copies, and engravings he had brought with him. Murillo set out on a jour- ney to study the great masters, but went no farther than Madrid. Velasquez, the king's painter and the friend of Olivares, was himself a native of Seville; he welcomed his young compatriot and gave him the en- tree to all the royal galleries, where Murillo saw the masterpieces of Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto, and Ru- bens, not to mention Velasquez himself. He spent three years here, and this was all his travel. He re- turned to Seville in 1644. After this he left Seville but once, in 1681, when he went to Cadiz to paint an altar for the Capuchins which he never had the time to finish. A fall from his scalTolding or else a serious ill- ness — accounts differ — forced him to let himself be taken back, hurriedly, to Seville, where he died after a brief period of suffering.

His was a very pure life, and perfectly happy, all spent within that one Sevillian horizon which the art- ist never wished to change for any other. His paint- ings in the porterla of the Minims made a celebrity of him at the age of twenty-eight (1646). From that time he devoted himself to work on a large scale for the convents of his native Seville, work which, in some respects, recalls the Giottesque paintings of the four-


teentli century. In contrast with Velasquez and the Madrid school. Murillo is wholly a religious painter. W illi llio exception of a few ])ort rails and some genre pieces, not one profane picture of his is known to ex- ist. The product of his life's work is summed up in the great cycles of Santa Maria la Hlanca (1665), of the Caridad Hospital (1670-74), of the Capuchins (1676), of the Vcnerables Saeerdotes (1678), of the Augustinians (1680), and, lastly, of the Cadiz Capu- chins, together with a large number of pictures made at dilTerent times for the cathedral of Seville or other churches and many devotional works for private in- dividuals. IMurillo was the national ])ainterof a coun- try where all sen- timent was still merged in the one sentiment of re- ligion. The critics have distin- guished three pe- riods, or manners, in his work: the cold, the hot, and the "vaporous". The classification is foolish and pedantic. It is enough to look at his "Angels' Kit- chen" (1646), his " Birth of the Vir- gin" (1655), and his "Holy Family" (1670), all in the Louvre: here we can see nothing but the natural evolution of a talent which from first to last pursued but one ideal — the poetical transfiguration of facts and ideas.

This ideal is already fully perceptible in the first of the examples cited, or in the " Death of St. Clare" (Dresden Museum), which also belongs to the porterla series. In the "Angels' Kitchen", as in many others of his paintings, the artist's problem is to combine the supernatural with the real and familiar. Here we have a holy Franciscan in ecstasy, lifted from the ground, while angels with shining wings attend to the service of the refectory and wash t he pans ; and lastly, some spectators are peeping through a half-open door. The whole scene is displayed with admirable clearness, without a suggestion of hiatus between the three parts which are so diverse in character.

From this period date those few genre paintings which may be regarded as exceptional works of Murillo, the most famous example being the "Pou- illeux" of the Louvre. Like every great Spanish painter, Murillo is a realist, and goes as far as anyone in the pathetic painting of suffering. But he refuses to paint these horrors with the frightful dilettantism, the cold, cruel detachment, of other Spanish artists. For him, pain and misery are objects of pity, not of curiosity or pleasure. Alone of the great painters of his race, his genius is tender, affectionate. Murillo's realism, however exact and sound, is never altogether impersonal or objective. In spite of himself, he com- municates, together with the record of the reality, the emotions which it produces in him-self; he does not alter its form, but he adds to it something of his own. In Spain, the classic land of brutal observation, of the "slice taken from life" served up raw and bleeding, Murillo invents, combines, achieves compositions. He has an imagination, and he does not make a point of honour of ignoring it. With more than average gifts for portraiture — as witness his [jortrait of Padre Cabanillas, at Madrid, or the admirable figure in the Museum of the Hispanic Society in New York — he made very few portraits. On the other hand, he hiis the gift and the instinct for story-telling. The Italian