Catalog of the Fine Arts Collection
Please note that the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum prohibits the use of images from its collection in public exhibition, broadcast, electronic reproduction or publication in any form without prior written permission from the institution. If you would like to reproduce any of the Art Gallery images in any form, contact us at 748-8291.
After Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1618-1682), Spanish
The Spanish Baroque master Bartolome Esteban Murillo painted numerous versions of the Immaculate Conception, and was known in his own lifetime as "the painter of the Conception." This painting's imagery derives from the biblical Book of Revelation: "A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head." Murillo's formula of a beautiful, young girl standing atop the moon and escorted by a phalanx of young angels, or putti, became the canonical representation at the Spanish court after he painted the first version in 1650. The Conceptions were still enormously popular twenty-eight years later, when Murillo created the work (now in the Prado Museum in Madrid) upon which this porcelain copy is based.