The Immaculate Conception

Artist: Guido Reni (Italian, Bologna 1575–1642 Bologna)

Date: 1627

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 105 1/2 x 73 in. (268 x 185.4 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Victor Wilbour Memorial Fund, 1959

Accession Number: 59.32


Reni, the most celebrated painter of seventeenth-century Italy, was particularly famous for the beauty of his female heads and the devotional effectiveness of his pictures of the Virgin Mary. This altarpiece was commissioned in about 1627 by the Spanish Ambassador, the Count of Oñate, for the Infanta of Spain. It was later in the Cathedral of Seville, where it exercised a deep influence on Spanish painters, especially Murillo. It was subsequently (1851–1946) in the collection of the Earls of Ellesmere at Bridgewater House in London.