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During the second half of the nineteenth century, Spain became well known in the international art world, and artists turned to see Spanish artists and culture for inspiration. In Australia, the response to the Spanish inspiration was manifested and intensified at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century when there was a fascination for naturalism, and artists were affected by realism and impressionism. This paper looks at Bartolomé Esteban Murillo and his impact in Australia. I will illustrate the context in which this admiration was possible, considering the involvement of the Australian art institutions and the connection of Australian artists with the art of Murillo.  In Australia, Murillo was venerated for its depiction of religious subjects and use of naturalism. Australian painters mainly appreciated his art during their visits to London and Paris, and some artists such as Tom Roberts also traveled to Spain while living overseas. However, many artists also appreciated him through copies before going overseas. The commissions and purchases of copies of paintings by Murillo reveal that there was an interest in the Spanish artist in Australia.  I will argue that this attention started as a reflection of the worldwide reception of Murillo during the nineteenth century but was extended and strengthened towards the twentieth century in Australia, reaffirming the appreciation of the Spanish art and culture.  This paper will extend what is known about the relationship between Spanish and Australian painting, and it will contribute to understanding the taste for Murillo in Australia.

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Jenny Quijano Martinez (Australia) 13904
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