The Young Beggar

Louvre, Paris, France

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Bartolome Esteban Murillo, 1650

genre painting

Murillo was known for his realistic paintings of all aspects of his daily life, and this painting poignantly depicts a beggar boy, sitting alone in a street corner, destitute and forlorn. The painting is a wonderful example of tenebrism, the portrayal of light and shadow, at which Murillo excelled. Clear sunlight shines through an opening, casting light on the boy, whose clothes are torn and feet are bare. A ceramic jug and a basket of apples lie at his side. You can almost feel the boys sorrow at his situation, as he grasps his clothes, hoping for a meal, or a bed, or whatever some nice passerby might offer him.

image of The Young Beggar