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Core Record

Title Figure Subject
Alternative Title Street Urchins Eating
Collection University of Edinburgh Fine Art Collection
Artist Attributed to after Murillo, Bartolomé Estebán (Spanish painter and draftsman, 1618-1682)
Date Earliest about 1650
Date Latest probably 1700
Description This painting in the style of one of Murillo's genre pieces shows two ragged urchin boys sharing food with a poorer looking boy. Murillo specialised in such genre scenes which show poverty stricken, unsupervised children. These works are to be understood in the context of Murillo's religious painting and contemporary attitudes towards childhood and poverty. A deeply religious artist, Murillo specialised in paintings of the Christ Child. The cult of holy childhood was intended to foster an 'instinctive, childlike faith' (Brooke and Cherry, 2001). Murillo's urchins are less idealised than the children in his religious paintings, yet they suggest themes of charity and sharing and demonstrate the carefree existence of childhood as they enjoy the basic physical gratification of food. These genre pieces are in accordance with the notion of sanctus pauper through which the poor are believed to be closer to Christ.
Current Accession Number EU 540
Subject everyday life; figure
Measurements 133 x 96 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Unknown, before 1977.
Rights Owner University of Edinburgh Fine Art Collection
Author Dr Patricia Smyth
 

 

 

 

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