Currently, looting in the artistic field continues to be the order of the day, so that the great museums house countless pieces that have not always been safeguarded by the best means, thus important collections of Egyptian art or Greek art are scattered throughout different museums that are not exactly close to their place of origin. Something similar occurs with the works of one of the most important Spanish artists of the Baroque aesthetic,Murillo. Murillo's works were persecuted during the War of Independence so that many of his canvases ended up in France, this is the case of the works that adorned the walls of the Church of Santa María la Banca in Seville and those that only two of the four original pieces have been restored to Spanish heritage, although without returning to their place of origin in Seville.
In the mid-seventeenth century the famous artist from the Seville school Esteban Bartolomé Murillo was commissioned to decorate the walls of the Church of Santa Maria la Blanca in Seville by order of the canon of the Cathedral himself, Don Justino de Neve, with whom the artist maintained a close friendship throughout his life. Neve commissioned the artist for four canvases recounting the founding of the Roman basilica of Santa María la Mayor, the artist paintedTo do this, four canvases in a semicircular format, two large ones –the first of which is the work we are analyzing here- and two other smaller ones that are still preserved in France.
The Patrick's Dream is a large canvas more than five meters wide and two and a half meters high; Its original semicircular format, due to its position under the dome of the church, has been distorted by adding a gilt with reliefs from the Basilica of Santa María la Mayor. Murillo's work represents the moment in which the Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus appear in dreams to the patrician and his wife to entrust them with the construction of a temple whose floor plan they would find drawn on snow from the top of the Roman Esquiline Hill, despite meet in summer.
Murillo has represented the patrician and his wife in the left area of the canvas, sleeping in uncomfortable postures since they appear seated and not lying down and plunged into darkness. For its part, the Virgin and Child have been represented in a higher and more illuminated area, as if descending from a cloud of brilliant golden light.
The scene shows some friendly figures in keeping with the artist's painting,where it is worth noting both the naturalism with which the patricians have been represented and the quality of the representation of the fabrics.
In the right corner we can see a window that overlooks the outside and from where the Esquiline Mountain is miraculously snowcapped.