Tag Archives: Murillo: The Self-Portraits

New York Mysteries Nov. 4 – Nov.10

Murillo’s portrait of Juan Arias de Saavedra

With the celebration of the Reformation – 500 hundred years ago – I was interested in what Catholic countries did to stem the inevitable tide. The Spanish had the Inquisition. A form of persuasion and persecution since the 12th Century, it took on added importance during the Reformation. A portrait of one of its enforcers is on view at the Frick Collection in the current exhibit, Murillo: The Self-Portraits. The portrait of Juan Arias de Saavedra was done in 1650. In addition to being a senior member of the Holy Inquisition, he was a connoisseur of painting. It’s a gorgeous portrait given a frisson of terror from knowing the sitter’s background. In Italy, to control the schism, the popes commissioned churches, statues, fountains, paintings that glorified holy rite. One of the most beautiful is Bernini’s statue, Ecstasy of Saint Teresa.

From the sublime to the ridiculous: the MTA. How many times this week have I stared out the subway windows as we flew past my stop. Construction is rife both underground and above ground. These murals are in the Prince Street station. Don’t these people look weary?

Prince Street Station Mural
Print Street Station Mural


Graphic Lessons: Recent thirty-five-year-old widow Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a stabbed and dying man in the school kitchen, deals with the only witness to the stabbing – a troubled nine-year-old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears three people fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie.

Graphic Lessons: Something’s eating at NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case? It doesn’t matter because he’s relentless.