In honor of the Immaculate Conception
For today’s solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I decided to issue a challenge. Two challenges, actually. The first challenge is…
Can you identify which one of these depictions of the Immaculate Conception was painted by Murillo?
Were you able to guess? If you did not know the answer, you are in for a bit of a surprise.
First, let’s eliminate some of the less likely candidates.
Exhibit C is by Bartolome Esteban Murillo, but the subject is the Assumption of Mary, not the Immaculate Conception
Exhibit E is by the School of Murillo (nice job, fellas)
Exhibit F is an obvious imitation (nice job, anyways)
Exhibit J is obviously a mosaic, but it is of a painting of the Immaculate Conception by Murillo (Nice Job!)
Now, are you ready for a big surprise? Bartolome Esteban Murillo was so inspired by the Immaculate Conception, whose dogma was promulgated in Spain not long before he was born, that he painted no less than 20 Immaculate Conceptions — No Less Than Twenty! — probably more, and each one of them is completely unique.
That’s right, he painted so many different versions of the Immaculate Conception that not even the internet can tell us exactly how many he actually painted or where they all are. I only included 6 of them on this page.
To answer the original question, the ones that I did not exclude in the elimination round above are all versions of the Immaculate Conception by Murillo.
Here’s the easy part. Which one is your favorite? And if you can even give the specific name of the painting (besides “Immaculate Conception” or “La Inmaculada”) you get extra points!
Before I include my song for today, I want to issue one last challenge. If you want to offer some of your Feast Day time to this project, I would be much obliged. Can you find one or more Murillo Immaculate Conceptions that I did not include in this post? I’d like to get them all or as many of them as I can, and if you can find one that I don’t have here, share a link to the image in the comments, and I will add it (or them) to this post. Many thanks in advance!
Today’s solemnity falls during Advent. In fact, as you may already know, it ordinarily falls on December 8, which happened to coincide with the Second Sunday of Advent, which is why the feast was moved this year. I like to think of this feast as a window during Advent (which is why we sing the Gloria during the Mass). So it makes sense that today my Advent song is not an Advent song, but a Marian hymn in honor of the Immaculate Conception.
A final note… If you came here looking for information on the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception (because of the title) I don’t want to disappoint you. Here is a place where you can go to find that information (but while your here, Enjoy the Art!). I appreciate Communion of the Saints linking back to this post, and I’m happy to take advantage of this opportunity to return the favor: The Immaculate Conception As Officially Defined | Belief In The Communion Of Saints . Also, here is a good link for information on the differences between the Catholic and Orthodox doctrines concerning the Immaculate Conception (Scroll midway down the page) http://www.east2west.org/doctrine.htm]
More Murillo Immaculate Conceptions
Since the post, here are more that I’ve found (so far only one). I found this one in a serendipitous image search.
Another one! We’re on a roll!
Another from the National Art Gallery in London
Please, help me find more!