Photo: National Gallery

Photo: National Gallery

Photo: National Gallery

Photo: National Gallery

Photo: National Gallery

Photo: National Gallery

Photo: National Gallery

Photo: National Gallery

Photo: National Gallery

Photo: National Gallery

Photo: National Gallery

Photo: National Gallery

Photo: National Gallery

Photo: National Gallery

To these rigid methods, Zurbarán is said to have adhered throughout his career, which was prosperous, wholly confined to Spain, and varied by few incidents beyond those of his daily labour. His subjects were mostly severe and ascetic religious vigils, the spirit chastising the flesh into subjection, the compositions often reduced to a single figure. The style is more reserved and chastened than Caravaggio’s, the tone of color often quite bluish. Exceptional effects are attained by the precisely finished foregrounds, massed out largely in light and shade. Backgrounds are often featureless and dark. Zurbaran had difficulty painting deep space; when interior or exterior settings are represented, the effect is suggestive of theater backdrops on a shallow stage