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Saint Thomas of Villanueva Giving Alms to the Poor, c. 1678

Bartolomé-Esteban Murillo

Spanish, 1617-1682
Oil on canvas
52-1/8 x 30 in. (132.4 x 76.2 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
© The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

Long before his canonization, Augustinian friar St. Thomas de Villanueva (1488-1555), was venerated for his many acts of charity dating back to his childhood. This painting formed part of an altarpiece illustrating scenes from the life of the saint. It was commissioned by the monastery of Saint Augustine in Seville.

The decade of the 1670s was a most creative period for Murillo. His paintings, including "St. Thomas of Villanueva," were executed in a manner that has been described as the "vaporous style." The brushwork is feathery, the pigment thin and the coloration cool and light.

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