The Young Beggar is a genre painting by Bartolome Esteban Murillo, which was created around 1650. It is also referred to as “The Lice-Ridden Boy,” due to the young boy’s image delousing himself in the painting. Murillo was known for his religious paintings, and this work stands out as an excellent example of his portrayal of local street children.
The painting features a lonely and impoverished beggar boy sitting alone in a street corner, with shadows and light expertly interplayed to create tenebrism. This style highlights the realistic artistic approach that Murillo took towards portraying ordinary individuals in everyday situations. It is widely admired for its genuine depiction of poverty, despair, and destitution with utmost dignity.
Murillo was the most revered Baroque painter in 17th-century Spain; his work is associated with idealized images and precious mannerisms. The Franciscans were among one of his primary patrons along with other religious orders he had worked for over time to establish himself as one of Seville’s great artists during this era.