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MURILLO'S "VIRGIN OF THE NAPKIN."

The small picture which once adorned the tabernacle of the Capuchin high altar at Seville, is interesting on account of its legend, as well as its extraordinary artistic merits. Murillo, whilst employed at the convent, had formed a friendship with a lay brother, the cook of the fraternity, who attended to his wants and waited on him with peculiar assiduity. At the conclusion of his labors, this Capuchin of the kitchen begged for some trifling memorial of his pencil. The painter was quite willing to comply, but said that he had exhausted his stock of canvas. "Never mind," said the ready cook, "take this napkin," offering him that which he had used at dinner. The good-natured artist accordingly went to work, and before evening he had converted the piece of coarse linen into a picture compared to which cloth of gold or the finest tissue of the East would be accounted worthless. The Virgin has a face in which thought is happily blended with maidenly innocence; and the divine infant, with his deep earnest eyes, leans forward in her arms, struggling as it were almost out of the frame, as if to welcome the carpenter Joseph home from his daily toil. The picture is colored with a brilliancy which Murillo never excelled, glowing with a golden light, as if the sun were always shining on the canvas. This admirable work is now in the Museum of Seville.