IV Centennial of the birth of Bartolomé Murillo


Spain – Four hundred years ago in Seville, was born Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, one of the most important artists that has given Spain. Murillo, who adopted his mother’s surname following a traditional Andalusian custom, was instructed by the painter Juan del Castillo, a relative of his mother.

Married to Beatriz Cabrera y Villalobos, he received his first major commission in 1645. It was a series of eleven paintings for the cloister of the Monastery of San Francisco el Grande in Seville. He often painted images of children and gained great popularity for his paintings depicting the Virgin and Child. It is just one of these works, La Virgen de la Servilleta, the one that stars on the stamp issued by Correos on the occasion of this centenary, where a close up of the Virgin with the Child is silhouetted on a circular, amorphous form, similar to a stain of paint. This is because the sheet emitted represents a painter’s palette with 12 seals distributed as if they were similar color stains. This work was done by the painter in 1666 for the Church of the Capuchins of Seville. It owes its name to a legend that said that the capuchin friars realized that a napkin had disappeared from the monastery and that days later, Murillo returned it with the image of the Virgin. There is another version that speaks of a friar who asked Murillo for a representation of the Virgin and Child for his cell. He asked for a canvas for it, but the friar could only offer him a napkin in which the artist did his work.

Today it is exhibited in the Museum of Fine Arts in Seville. It is not the first time that Correos dedicates a stamp to this genius of the Art. In 1960, he was given an issue of 12 stamps that collected images of some of his most significant works, such as Niños comiendo melón, El Buen Pastor or el Niño de la Concha. With this issue, Correos demonstrates once again that innovation is one of its main objectives, also in Philately, where Premium sheets have become highly anticipated broadcasts every year by collectors and also by the general public.

Issue Date: 16.03.2017
Process: Offset
Size: 40.9 x 40.9 mm
Values: 1 €