Immaculate Conception (Walpole) by Bartolome Esteban Murillo

Immaculate Conception (Walpole) by Bartolome Esteban Murillo

This painting is one of the typical baroque images of saints, in a variety written by the artist in his life. But the canvas is a little surprising with its interpretation of the usual biblical storyline. Most often, the Immaculate Conception appeared before the audience in the form of the Annunciation – the appearance of an angel to the Virgin Mary with the news that she was destined to give birth to the Savior.

In the same picture, the scene more closely resembles another famous plot – the Ascension of the Virgin. The figure of the Virgin Mary is placed in the center of the composition and is

surrounded on all sides by a multitude of naked children’s figures – putti-angels, so beloved by Baroque paintings. The Mother of God leans against the crescent moon – a symbol of its divine essence and innocence, the sign of the Heavenly Queen.

The Virgin Mary is dressed in a long, snow-white dress with no decor, on which a navy blue cape is asymmetrically thrown, beautifully draped around her body. Hands are crossed on a breast, and eyes are raised high, the person expresses both awe before the will of God, and a presentiment of future sufferings. Her head is surrounded by radiance. The figure of the Mother of God is highlighted not only compositionally, but also with the help of light and color.

Behind the Virgin Mary, the color becomes reddish, which favorably emphasizes her figure, as if making her glow. Along the edges of the picture, in the diagonal direction, the background becomes dark, acquires cold deep shades. This technique allows you to give even more movement and expressiveness of the image.

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