Children eating fruit or Children eating grapes and melon is one of the most outstanding works of the Baroque artist Bartolomé Murillo. At a time when Spain was submerged in one of the worst political and economic crises it has known in its entire history, art, literature and culture in general experienced one of the most splendid moments, known as the Siglo of Spanish Gold.
At this time great artists emerged, one of them and perhaps the most outstanding is the figure of Diego de Velázquez, but along with him other artists of the stature of Bartolomé Murillo appeared who made the XVII the century of the great masters of Spanish painting. Esteban Bartolomé Murillo (1617 – 1682) will be the most outstanding painter of the Sevillian school during this stage, although it is true that in general Murillo became famous for his well-known religious-themed canvases – his immaculate paintings deserve special mention, which went down in history. establishing a new prototype of the virgin- no less outstanding were the genre works that reflected the harsh conditions of Spanish society in general and of Sevillian society in particular.
The work that concerns us here is Children eating fruit, it is an oil on canvas that the artist must have painted between 1645 and 1650; Currently the canvas is in the Old Pinacoteca deMunich; In reality, it does not seem strange that this type of canvas is found outside of Spain, in fact almost all works with a gender theme are found today in Northern Europe, probably because most of them were sold to Flemish merchants. The scene takes place inside a gloomy and shabby dwelling where two children of about ten years of age are enjoying a hungry feast of fruit.
One of the children is sitting on a large piece of wood that makes him rise above his companion, while with one hand he holds a slice of fruit, with the other he holds the knife that he uses to cut; his left cheek is swollen from eating and he turns to his companion in a confident gesture. Beside him, the other urchin appears seated on the ground, eating a bunch of green grapes while with the other hand he holds a slice of melon that his companion has offered him. By the disposition of the young people, the eagerness with which they eat and their filthy works, the artist gives us to understand that the rogues have stolen the fruit to eat it secretly and furtively.
Special mention deserves the basket of fruit that rests next to the young people as if it were a true still life. The composition is very baroque with strong diagonals that completely cross the On the canvas, the light, for its part, has a markedly gloomy character, the result of Caravaggio's influences spread throughout Europe. It is a golden light that illuminates the young people, leaving the rest of the room in darkness.