Zurbaran, Francisco de

Born: 1598 AD
Died: 1664? AD.

Nationality: Spanish
Categories: Painters

1598 - Baptized November 7


         - The Spanish painter


         - Was one of the principal figures in Spain’s Golden Age of baroque art


         - Like Diego de Velazquez, almost his exact contemporary, Zurbaran displayed an early concern for chiaroscuro (light and shadow) contrasts and naturalistic effects.


         - In his early Saint Bruno and the Miracle of the Uneaten Meat (1625-26; Museo de Bellas Artes, Seville), the crsip tactility of the forms and a careful attention to detail foreshadow the essential characteristics of zurbaran’s mature art.


         - An interest in dramatic chiaroscuro is evident in his Crucifixion (1627; Art Institute of Chicago), in which the body of the dead Christ projects from a background of deep shadow.


         - Like other baroque artists, zurbaran often depicted scenes of ecstatic religious experience; in his Saint Peter Nolasco’s Vision of the Crucified Saint Peter (1629; Prado, Madrid), for example, the martyred apostle appears in swirling masses of orange clouds.


         - The Counter-Reformation trend toward domestic familiarity in religious compositions is present in The Holy House of Nazareth (1630; Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio), in which the Virgin interrupts her sewing as her son pricks his finger on a crown of thorns, foretelling his Passion.


1634 - Zurbaran traveled to Madrid to paint for the new royal palace of the Buen Retiro.


1634 - He created two battle pictures and a ten-works series depicting the labors of Hercules.


1640 - Few of his painting have survived, although it is known that he shipped several works to Spain’s South American colonies.


         - His later works include one of his portraits, the Doctor of Laws (658-1660; Gardner Museum, Boston).


1664 - Zurbaran’s art had fallen out of favor, by the time of his death.


1664 - Died on August 27

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