The Good Shepherd, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
The Good Shepherd
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Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

The Good Shepherd, ca. 1675 – 1682

70.8 x 40.8 cm
Physical Description
Inventory Number
Acquired in 1955 as a bequest from Adolf and Luisa Haeuser
On display, 2nd upper level, Old Masters, room 11


About the Work

The Christ Child as ‘Good Shepherd’ – in this work Murillo combined two themes that corresponded particularly well to Catholic religious feeling in Spain. Shown as a young child, Christ appeals to the viewer’s emotions. His shepherd’s crook and sheep are an allusion to the good shepherd described in John 10:11–16, who knows his own flock just as he knows his father, and who gives his life for the sheep. While the enraptured heavenward gaze points to the influence of Guido Reni, the paint has been applied in a manner strongly reminiscent of Rubens and Van Dyck.

About the Acquisition

Privy Councillor Adolf Haeuser made a fortune serving the Farbwerke Hoechst company as a legal advisor. As stipulated in their wills, after the deaths of Adolf Haeuser in 1938 and his wife, Luisa, in 1953, their property was distributed among several charitable foundations which were to be newly established, including the Adolf und Luisa Haeuser-Stiftung for the cultivation of art and culture. This foundation has since acquired a number of paintings which are on loan to the Städel. The museum also received paintings from the Haeusers’ private estate.


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