Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Christ the Saviour
Pen, chalk, watercolour on paper, 18X28 cm. (aprox.)
– Probably Jean-Marc du Pan (1785-1818), Paris
– Gallerie Marcel Guiot (1960’s), Paris
“La Roldana” is unique in art history. As a woman artist in the late 17th century she succeeded and triumphed over her fellow male peers to become chamber sculptor to Charles II of Spain and later Philip V. Born, raised and trained in her father ‘s workshop in Seville, Pedro Roldan taught his daughter the fine artistry of wood carving and the important character traits of dramatization and realism the Counterreformation had led sculptors in southern Spain to embrace.
She quickly evolved during her long career and found her unmistakable style and talent for creating smaller sculptures of beautifully detailed groups, precious pieces designed for the private elite that were quite unlike anything anyone had ever seen. “Saint Joseph with the Child” is one of the best examples, perfectly encompassing the sculptor’s ability to convey emotion, life, and movement through an elaborate and complex carving of the cloths, but above all, it is a tour de force of miniature polychrome painting, rarely matched, and much less paired with such an excellent condition.