(bapt. Seville, 1 Jan. 1618; d Seville, 3 Apr. 1682). Spanish painter, active for almost all his life in Seville. His early career is not well documented, but he started working in a naturalistic tenebrist style, showing the influence of Zurbarán. After making his reputation with a series of eleven paintings on the lives of Franciscan saints for the Franciscan monastery in Seville (1645–6, the pictures are now dispersed in Spain and elsewhere), he displaced Zurbarán as the city's leading painter and was unrivalled in this position for the rest of his life. His pre-eminence was acknowledged in 1660 when an academy of painting was founded in Seville (the first in Spain) and Murillo, together with Francisco Herrera the Younger, was appointed joint president.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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