Housed in the beautiful former Convento de la Merced, Seville’s Museo de Bellas Artes does full justice to Seville’s leading role in Spain’s 17th-century artistic Siglo de Oro (Golden Age). Much of the work here is of the dark, brooding religious type.
The museum's flow is chronological, with the Golden Age masterpieces clustered in salas VII to X. The most visually startling room is the former convent's church, hung with paintings by masters of Sevillan baroque, above all Murillo. His Inmaculada concepción grande (1650) at the head of the church displays all the curving, twisting movement so central to baroque art. Other well-represented artists include Pacheco (the teacher and father-in-law of Velázquez), Zurbarán (look for his deeply sombre Cristo crucificado, c 1630–35) and sculptor Juan Martínez Montañes. Search and you'll find El Greco's portrait of his son Jorge Manuel, and – perhaps disappointingly – only one Velázquez: Cabeza de apóstol (1620).