The Immaculate Conception of Los Venerables Bartolome Esteban Murillo Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on January 12, 2024
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The Immaculate Conception of Los Venerables is a painting by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo from circa 1660-1665.

This artwork remains one of the artist's most famous and perfectly captures his work within the genre of religious art.


The painting features an elaborate display of figurative art, with the Virgin placed centrally. She looks upwards, with an expression of amazement upon her face. She is dressed in a long white robe, with a blue shawl hanging over her left shoulder.

Murillo then creates a Baroque-style and highly complex series of angels who are playfully interactive from every angle. A flurry of clouds appear from behind to position us skywards, and this atmosphere is developed by how the artist blurs elements of the surrounding content, also using tones of brown across the top of the composition.

Experts in his work have commented on the angle of movement within this piece - where light adorns the lower section and a diagonal direction leads up towards the top right of the painting. This adds to the atmosphere of an interaction with a higher being.


Murillo took on religious themes such as this many times in his career, and for the purpose of differentiating them, many were labelled in relation to the original donor. For this reason, this painting is known as The Immaculate Conception of Los Venerables, for it was commissioned by Justino de Neve for the Hospital de los Venerables Sacerdotes in Seville, Spain.

Murillo completed around 20-25 different interpretations of just the Immaculate Conception alone, underlining his productive nature and the concentration of his career on religious themes. Much of this was forced by his donors, as well as the success that he generated within this artistic genre.


This breathtaking piece has changed hands on multiple occasions. In the early 19th century the painting was claimed by the French and taken back to France without permission. By the middle of the century it was purchased by the Louvre, but by the 1940s pressure to return the piece started to grow.

With Murillo's own popularity starting to wain at the time, an exchange was agreed with its present owners at the Prado Museum, who contributed a Diego Velazquez painting to the Louvre as part of the agreement.

Current Location of The Immaculate Conception of Los Venerables

This breaktaking artwork can now be found in the collection of the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain. They host many of the best artists from the past 600 years, with a particular focus on the Renaissance and Baroque eras. In terms of Murillo, they host a good number of artworks from his career, making this gallery perhaps the best in the world from where to enjoy this particular artist's paintings.

They have seventy eight in total, with highlights besides The Immaculate Conception of Los Venerables including the likes of Penitent Magdalen, The Head of Saint John the Baptist, The Adoration of the Shepherds and also The Holy Family with a Little Bird. These items sit alongside other great names within this important gallery which is found in central Madrid. Close by, you can also find a number of other galleries which tend to focus on modern art from a national and international perspective.

The Immaculate Conception of Los Venerables Bartolome Esteban Murillo

The Immaculate Conception of Los Venerables Bartolome Esteban Murillo