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Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (Seville 1618-1682)
THE PROPERTY OF A EUROPEAN COLLECTOR
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (Seville 1618-1682)

Christ on the Cross

Details
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (Seville 1618-1682)
Christ on the Cross
inscribed 'JESVS NAZARENVS REX IVDEO RVM' (upper centre)
oil on panel, cruciform
23 3/8 x 14½ in. (59.4 x 36.8 cm.)
in a late-17th early-18th century gilt bronze frame, cast with winged putti in strap-work cartouches and sunbursts
Provenance
Jerónimo Ortiz de Sandoval y Ortiz de Sandoval (1704-1780), 3rd Conde de Mejorada and Procurador Mayor Perpetuo de Sevilla, and by descent to
Inés Ortiz de Sandoval y Montalvo, 8th Condesa de Mejorada (recorded in her will, 25 March 1856), and given to
Victoria Rodrguez, together with the house in Calle Abadas 31, along with its contents.
Ramón Charlo, Seville, until 1980.
Literature
F.H. Standish, Seville and its vicinity, London, 1840, p. 315.
F. González de León, Noticia artística y curiosa de todos los edificios...de Sevilla, II, Seville, 1844, p. 202.
S. Montoto, 'Aparecen dos Murillos de Mejorada', ABC, 23 May 1948.
S. Montoto, 'Murillo, intérprete de la Pasión', ABC, 9 April 1952.
D. Angulo Íñiguez, Murillo, Madrid, 1981, II, pp. 227-8, no. 270; III, fig. 262.
E. Valdivieso González, Murillo. Sombras de la tierra. Luces del cielo, Madrid, 1990, p. 142.
E. Valdivieso, Murillo: Catálogo Razonado de Pinturas, Madrid, 2010, pp. 184 and 445, no. 261.

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Alexis Ashot
Alexis Ashot

Lot Essay

There was a huge demand for representations of Christ on the cross throughout the 17th century in Seville. This imagery was highly familiar in both public and private spheres: every parochial church, monastery and convent had crucifixions, and nearly every home had one, in a private chapel or bedroom. These objects of personal devotion were especially important during the second half of the century, when Seville fell into an economic decline, exacerbated by natural disasters and outbreaks of plague, which also coincided with the expansion and strengthening of Counter-Reformation Catholicism.

It is in this context that, between 1660 and 1670, Murillo and his workshop produced a number of small- and large-scale crucifixions. Valdivieso dates this Crucifixion to circa 1670 and compares it with two contemporaneous crucifixions by the artist (Paris, Duke de Luynes collection; and London, Brennan collection; op. cit., 2010, nos. 260 and 262). While it is unclear who commissioned this work, it was almost certainly designed for private devotion. By 1742, when it is first mentioned in an inventory of Jerónimo Ortiz de Sandoval y Ortiz de Sandoval, its explicit purpose is 'devosion [sic]'.

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