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Francisco De Zurbaran
1598-1662. Spanish painter. Born at Fuente de Cantos, Estremadura, he painted directly from nature with pure colors, bluish tone, and careful shadow, his figures reflecting devotion and asceticism. Painting on the whole for monastic orders (1623-39), he was appointed about 1630 as painter to Philip IV who, according to legend, said: “Painter to the king, king of painters.” The Madrid years (1634-39) made his style softer and lighter, later to return to earlier patterns, and influenced finally by Murillo.* His commissions were numerous: several of Bonaventura; Apotheosis of St. Thomas Aquinas; many for the Carthusians at Xeres; thirteen on Jerome for the Hieronymites at Guadalupe; a series of full-length portraits of Hieronymite monks; and great founders of religious orders from Elias to Loyola for the Capuchins at Castellon.