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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