bemusing musings of a bewildered brush-wielder

murillo

Here are some details from the painting, and I’m in the process of layering colors, as you can see.  It’s so enjoyable, to slowly see a painting emerge.  With my little three week old, Quinn, I’ve come to be amazed by what touch means to a baby.  As you hold their hands, pat them, place your face against theirs, they respond.  So fascinating.

I was in Seville, Spain a while ago, and I wandered into some far off wing of an old, dusty museum.  Wandering the corridors, I was alone, except for the occasional sleepy security guard.  And then I came into a huge, lofty room, filled with tall paintings.  And there, to the left, within a larger composition, there was this beautiful painting of a mother and child, painted with more tenderness than any of Raphael’s tondos, or even Cassatt’s pastels.  For the poetic understanding of the love between mother and child, it is singular in the history of art- the child’s motions seem alive, the mother’s skin is soft.  What sfumato, what light- a feat of painting.  I found a little postcard of it in the dingy museum shop.  I keep it taped to the wall of my studio.

Murillo, Detail of “Santo Tomas de Villanueva dando limosna”, Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla

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