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one of the most pleasing painters Spain ever produced, was born

, one of the most pleasing painters Spain ever produced, was born at Pilas, near Seville, in 1613, and be.came a disciple of Juan del Castillo, whose favourite subjects were fairs and markets; of which Murillo painted many pictures before he left him to go to Madrid. There he studied and copied the works of Titian, Rubens, and Vandyke, in the royal palaces, and the houses of the nobility; and having very much advanced himself in the knowledge and practice of his art, returned to Seville, where he was employed to paint for most of the principal churches there, as well as at Granada, Cadiz, and Cordova. The style of Murillio is his own. He copied his objects from nature, but combined them ideally; that is, his back-grounds are generally confused and indistinct, and the parts very much blended together, with a loose pencil and indeterminate execution; but most of them have a very pleasing effect, and perhaps the principal objects acquire a degree of finish and beauty from this very circumstance. An instance may be recollected in his very pleasing picture of the good shepherd, an excellent copy of which is at the marquis of Stafford’s gallery. But it was in small pictures of familiar life that this artist most completely succeeded, for in his large pictures, skilfully wrought as they are, he does not appear to have penetrated the arcana of grandeur or style; but in the amiable and tender sentiments which are expressed by the silent actions of the human features, he was eminently successful. He died in 1685.