Louise Nicholson reviews Murillo: The Self-Portraits at the Frick Collection, New York, on view through February 4, 2018.
Nicholson writes: “The Frick self-portrait … dominates one room. Viewers must use their imaginations to enliven the now dismal background colour: Murillo’s intended airy blue sky is gone due to the degradation of the smalt pigment he used. As [curator Xavier F.] Salomon explains, Murillo has painted a framing device – ‘a block of chipped and weathered stone to give a trompe l’oeil effect. The whole exhibition looks at how Murillo plays with painting boundaries, surface, with the relation of the viewer and the image.’”