ZURBARAN, FRANCISCO DE Spanish painter, was born at Fuente de Cantos in Estremadura, and bap tized on Nov. 7, 1598. His parents belonged to the agricultural labouring class, but, discovering their son's talent, sent him at the age of 16 to study under a painter called Diego Perez Vil lanueva ; he then worked under Juan de Roelas at Seville. He soon developed an independent realistic style, with solid model ling, and strongly contrasted light and shade, and acquired the name of the "Spanish Caravaggio." A series of "Scenes from the life of St. Peter" and a great altarpiece painted for the cathedral at Seville in 1625 established his reputation and in 1629 he was nominated town painter of Seville. Other important works of the early period are four pictures representing "Scenes from the Life of St. Buenaventura" now in the Louvre, Berlin, and Dresden museums; "the Vision of Alonso Rodriguez" (163o in the Aca demy, Madrid) which is, perhaps, his masterpiece; the grand altar piece representing "the Apotheosis of St. Thomas of Aquinas" (1631, Seville museum) ; to the year 1629 belong the series of pictures out of the Merced Calzada, representing scenes from the life of S. Pedro Molaxo (Seville Cathedral and Prado Madrid). The paintings in the monastery of Guadelupe were executed ten years later. Through his friendship with Velazquez he was nomi
nated "Painter to the king" in 1638. It was, however,. not until 165o, that he moved to the capital where he was commissioned to decorate a room of the palace of Buenretiro with the "Labours of Hercules." Of this series only four panels (now in the Prado) were completed. The date of Zurbaran's death is unknown. He was still alive on Feb. 28, 1664, when he was called upon to value some paintings at Madrid. Other important works of the master are at Seville, Cadiz, Jerez and in the museums of Buda pest, London, in the Gardner collection, Boston, and with the Hispanic Society, New York, and elsewhere.
Zurbaran's principal pupils were Martinez de Granadille, Ber nabe de Ayala, and the brothers Polanco. In the 19th century Courbet, who, like Zurbaran, was a son of the soil, professed a great admiration for the Spaniard's works in the Louvre and, to some extent, formed his style thereon.
See Narcisso Sentenach y Cabanas, Painters of the School of Seville (Eng. trans., 1911) ; Jose Cascales y Munoz, Francesco de Zurbaran (Madrid, 1911) ; C. Justi, Diego Velazquez and sein Jahrhundert (Bonn, 1903). (I. A. R.)