Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Murillo: Art and Culture in Seventeenth-Century Spain HISTART4085

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course introduces and contextualises the art of BartolomĂ© Esteban Murillo (1617-82), one of the most important artists of seventeenth-century Spain. Using a multidisciplinary approach, it explores the role of the artist and the significance of his artistic achievement within the history of culture, society and religion in Murillo's native Seville and beyond, and outlines subsequent reception through changing tastes and techniques of transmission.


1hr lecture and 1hr seminar a week, over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into History of Art, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation

Excluded Courses





Literature Review 800 words - 10%

Group Presentation 10 mins - 20%

Extended Essay 3000 words - 70%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Examine the art of BartolomĂ© Esteban Murillo within contemporary artistic developments in Spain and Europe generally

■ Consider the contexts of culture, society and religion in Seville and Spain in the seventeenth century

■ Examine the role and status of artists at this period in Spain, including with reference to training, patronage and interdisciplinary or collaborative modes of working

■ Provide opportunity for object-based enquiry through access to relevant examples of art and related objects

■ Explore the critical reception of Murillo and his work

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ Interrogate key artworks covered in the course

■ Critically evaluate primary and secondary sources, and physical material relating to Murillo and seventeenth-century art in Spain

■ Assess the significance of cultural, social and religious contexts in understanding the artistic contribution of Murillo

■ Appraise major changes in the history of reception of Murillo and his work

■ Engage critically with key works and themes covered in the course, through oral and written assignments appropriate to Honours level and established scholarly conventions

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.