PREVIEW: Murillo: The Self Portraits, National Gallery

The National Gallery is set to mark the 400th anniversary of the birth of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo with a display of his self-portraits. 

A Peasant Boy Leaning on a Sill, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, about 1675. (c) The National Gallery London. 

This latest exhibition at the National Gallery will reunite the artist’s only two known self-portraits for the first time in over three hundred years.

They will displayed alongside six other portraits including Murillo’s first known portrait of Juan Arias de Saavedra, 1650 (Collection Duchess of Cardona) which has been restored especially for the exhibition and is being shown in public for the first time. The display will also feature  Diego Ortiz de Zúñiga which has recently been re-attributed as the lost original by Murillo following its re-discovery in Penrhyn Castle, Wales.

The exhibition is co-curated by  Xavier F. Salomon, Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator, The Frick Collection and Letizia Treves, Curator of Later Italian, Spanish and French 17th-century Paintings, the National Gallery.

Talking about the display Letizia Treves said “I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to work on this project with The Frick Collection, bringing together our own Murillo self-portrait with theirs – the only other known image of the artist by his own hand. The exhibition showcases a less familiar side of Murillo’s art, focusing on the inventiveness of his portraits and particularly his self-portraits. It is particularly fitting that this homage to Murillo should coincide with the 400th anniversary of the artist’s birth.”

Murillo: Self-Portraits will be on display at the National Gallery from the 28th February until the 21st May. For more information visit:



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