(Sarria 1576-1636 Valladolid)
Gilded and polychromed wood, 52 cm
This statuette belongs to one of the finer tabernacles Gregorio Fernandez is known to have executed throughout his career. Though few survive intact, during the 17th century the tabernacle became the centerpiece of every church decoration, delicately rendered to house the most holy matter in the building: the chalice and the body of Christ, as such Fernandez’s contracts often specify they be entirely finished by the artist himself without workshop participation. The famous eighteenth century traveler and writer, Antonio Ponz, provided the first published account in 1788 of the artistic merit these precious and beautifully composed works by Fernandez possessed, lamenting their replacement in favor of a new eighteenth century tabernacle, and preservation in the Collegiate church of Nava del Rey.