Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Roldán, Gold Leaf, and St. Francis

Here's a bit of a change: a page from the Getty Museum on a 17th century sculptor named Luisa Roldán. The page itself is quite interesting as regards the life of the artist and the construction of the intricate wooden statues in which La Roldán, as she was called, specialised. The video, if you have a minute (okay, twelve minutes, but it goes by very quickly) to view it is even better; it shows modern artists recreating the techniques that went into making such a statue as Roldán's Saint Ginés de La Jara.

The pictures on the Getty site seemed somehow familiar, but it took me a while to recall that I had seen a similarly crafted statue at Carmel Mission a couple of years ago. The St. Francis there was likely carved about a century after La Roldán's time, being produced around 1791 for the mission at Santa Cruz, but the similarities of design are hard to miss, and the placard, which, inexplicably, I remembered to photograph, describes it as "carved wood, gessoed and painted."

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