Depicting the Virgin and Child on a simple, black background and measuring 5ft 6in x 3ft 8in (1.68 x 1.12m), the oil painting Virgen del Rosario con el Niño Jesús is thought to have been commissioned directly by the Carmelites Calzados for the sacristy of their convent in Seville.
After being sold in 1810, it passed through various owners before entering the collection of Sir William Eden (1803-73), 4th Baronet of Maryland and 6th Baronet of West Auckland, in 1834, hence its alternative name of the Eden Madonna.
The work reflects the iconography, composition and style of Murillo’s early works (1645-50) as his true artistic personality began to emerge. In the modest, human scene, Murillo accentuates the maternal side of the Virgin in a work appropriate for private devotional use.
The painting belongs to a group of Virgins of the Rosary with the Child by the artist, including examples in the Pitti Gallery, Florence, the Musée Goya, Castres and the Prado, Madrid.
It is estimated at €750,000.