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Virgin with Child (Virgin of the Napkin)

  • 'Virgin with Child (Virgin of the Napkin)'. Seville Museum of Fine Arts © Ministerio de Cultura

    'Virgin with Child (Virgin of the Napkin)'. Seville Museum of Fine Arts © Ministerio de Cultura





1665 - 1666

Original title

Virgen con el Niño (Virgen de la Servilleta)
Seville Museum of Fine Arts
Seville, Andalusia

The charm of this wonderful composition is due to Murillo's skill in moving us to piety through his depiction of everyday scenes.

This popular representation of the Virgin with Child belongs to the series painted by Murillo for the Church of Capuchinos in Seville. The painting is known as the Virgin with the Napkin due to the tradition which began in the early 19th century according to which Murillo painted the popular image on a napkin for the monk in charge of the convent's refectory.

In this composition, the painter's skill can be seen in his capacity to transmit emotion through everyday situations, by depicting the love which binds the Mother to her Son who, full of childish curiosity, seems to want to jump out of the painting. The gaze of both figures meets the eye of the spectator, producing a tenderness and intimacy which were the keys to the success of Murillo's religious paintings.

Details of the work

Capuchin Convent (Seville)


67 x 72 cm.

Oil painting



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