Juan de Mesa_Master of Passion - Page 96



Like other Sevillian sculptors of this period, Juan de Mesa
delivered his images without their polychromy but prepared for the
application of the gilding, the paint and the decorative technique
known as estofado. The polychromy of this work dates from the first
half of the eighteenth century and has a predominance of greens
and gold. Its decoration is based on foliate elements (large gilded
leaves) and floral ones (roses). The mantle is primarily gilded with
painted roses, a decoration that undoubtedly replaced the original
one in order to reflect the new Baroque taste.
On the basis of the arguments presented above, this sculpture
of Saint Joseph, now lacking its Christ Child, can be considered
a work executed by Juan de Mesa in Seville in the early 1620s.
Furthermore, the saint’s pose and clothing are an innovative
element within the iconography of Saint Joseph Walking with the
Christ Child, although the pose of the splendid right hand, which
would have held the Christ Child, is similar to the example most
recently attributed to the artist, the above-mentioned work in the
Colegio de la Sagrada Familia in Seville (fig. 62).
Fig. 66 Juan de Mesa, Saint John the Evangelist, 1620, polychromed wood,
Fig. 67 Juan de Mesa, Saint John the Baptist, before 1623, Bormujos,
Seville, basilica del Gran Poder.
Santa María la Real.
notes
1.
Antonio Muro Orejón, Artífices sevillanos de los siglos XVI y XVII. Documentos
para la Historia del Arte en Andalucía, vol. IV (Seville, Universidad de Sevilla,
1932), pp. 74-75.
2.
José Hernández Díaz, Juan de Mesa. Escultor de imaginería (1583-1627) (Seville:
Diputación, 1972), p. 80; María Luisa Cano Navas, El Convento de San José del
One detail of the carving of the hair of the present saint
Finally, the arrangement of the tunic and mantle of the present Saint
is identical to that in two other works by Mesa. As in the
Joseph is different to that of the other three saints referred to above.
present work, in Mesa’s documented Saint John the Evangelist
Nonetheless, the arrangement of the mantle and that of the folds at one
(1620, fig. 66) – which the artist executed together with an
end wrapped around the left arm is also found in two works of 1622 by
image of Christ of the Gran Poder for the Sevillian penitential
Juan de Mesa: Saint Ignatius Loyola and Saint Francis Xavier in the Colegio
confraternity of that name (see fig. 1) – and in Saint John the
de San Luis Gonzaga in El Puerto de Santa María (Cadiz), which have
Baptist (ca. 1625, attributed; fig. 67) in the convent of Santa
been attributed to the artist on the basis of a document found inside
5.
Muro Orejón, Artífices sevillanos, p. 78.
María la Real in Bormujos (Seville), the heads have a heavy
them. The mantle leaves the entire front part of the tunic visible,
6.
Miguel de Bago y Quintanilla,, Documentos varios. Documentos para la Historia del
cluster of curls of a type disseminated by Mesa’s master
in contrast to the other depictions of this saint, in which it is partly
Martínez Montañés. Mesa, however, added distinctive details
concealed. The upper part of the tunic has a square neck from which
8
of his own, such as the two small, curved and voluminous
linear folds emerge, almost in a radial direction, a solution to be found
locks, one larger than the other, which resemble small horns
in the Saint Joseph (fig. 1) in Fuentes de Andalucia (Seville) and in the
and which adorn the figure’s broad brow.
Cristo del Perdón in the convent of Santa María de Jésus in Seville (fig. 67).
102
Carmen de Sevilla. Estudio histórico-artístico, (Seville: Universidad de Sevilla, 1984)
(new ed. 2017). The saint and Christ have separate bases.
3.
Francis Haskell & Nicholas Penny, El gusto y el arte de la Antigüedad. El atractivo de la
escultura clásica (1500-1900) (Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 1990), pp. 191-193.
4.
Manuel Jesús ROLDÁN, “San José y el Niño, una nueva obra de Juan de
Mesa”, ABC (Seville), 18 April 2016. This article published the attribution made
by the art historian José Carlos Pérez Morales.
Arte en Andalucía, vol. II (Seville: Universidad de Sevilla, 1928), pp. 99-100.
7.
Hernández Díaz, Juan de Mesa, p. 80. Enrique Pareja López, (coordinator), Grandes
maestros andaluces. Juan de Mesa (Seville: Ediciones Tartessos, 2006), pp. 344-345.
8.
Carlos Gálvez, “Dos esculturas de Juan de Mesa en el Colegio de San Luis
Gonzaga de El Puerto de Santa María”, in Arquitectos, escultores y pintores sevillanos
del siglo XVII. Documentos para la Historia del Arte en Andalucía, vol. I (Seville:
Universidad de Sevilla, 1927).
103

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