Catalog of the Fine Arts Collection

Please note that the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum prohibits the use of images from its collection in public exhibition, broadcast, electronic reproduction or publication in any form without prior written permission from the institution. If you would like to reproduce any of the Art Gallery images in any form, contact us at 748-8291.


Miguel Gonzalez, after Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1618-1682), Spanish
Children of the Shell, undated copy
OIL ON CANVAS, 25 x 29 ½ inches
Gift of Mrs. Theodora Willard Best

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo's depictions of children were particularly admired for their subjects' precocious gestures and for their sentimental quality. In Children of the Shell of 1670, now in the collection of the Prado Museum in Madrid, the infant Christ offers water to an equally young John the Baptist. By rendering the biblical figures as children, a popular trope that origi­nated in Italian art, Murillo is better able to humanize his subject and elicit the viewer's sympathy.


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