Juan de Mesa_Master of Passion - Page 23

works was the Saint Jerome in the altarpiece of The Visitation in
stars around her head, she became the model for works by Juan
Seville Cathedral, a work which unites Torrigiano’s composition
Martínez Montañés and Juan de Mesa discussed elsewhere in this
and Berruguete’s mannerist style of carving. By 1567 Hernández
catalogue.27 Hernández’s magnificent Cristo Resucitado (Christ of
was working on his own, and in 1573 he was one of the first
the Resurrection) in the parish church of Santa María Magdalena,
craftsmen to be received as a master “escultor, entallador de romano y
modelled on a print by Hieronymus Wierix, is described by
arquitecto” under new guild regulations. His life-sized Inmaculada
Hernández Díaz as one of the gems of Sevillian sacred sculpture
(Virgin of the Immaculate Conception) from the church of San
(figs. 14 and 15).28 His standing Infant Christ for the confraternity of
Andrés, produced ca. 1570, is one of the earliest post-Tridentine
the Quinta Angustía was one of the first Sevillian examples of a
images of this theme (fig. 13). Depicted as the Woman of the
subject which would become hugely popular, and was again based
Apocalypse, with the crescent Moon at her feet and twelve
on an engraving by Hiernoymus Wierix.29
Fig. 16 Gaspar Nuñez
Delgado, Crucifixion, 1599,
ivory, ebony, mahogany,
silver and polychromy,
Indianapolis, the Indianapolis
Museum of Art.
Another important figure who worked with Hernández was
Gaspar Nuñez Delgado (fl. 1581-1606), also from Avila. Delgado
produced a series of exquisite ivory crucifixes between 1585 and
1599 – again derived from Béatrizet’s engraving but with more
elaborate perizoma – which would directly influence later works
by Juan de Mesa (fig. 16). His terracotta Head of John the Baptist
(20 x 35 x 20 cm) from 1591 accurately renders the arteries and
tendons exposed by the severing of the saint’s neck (fig. 17). 30
This naturalistic depiction also came to be associated with
Mesa, fitting perfectly with the later artist’s search for subjects
which were intensely expressive. Delgado worked with Juan
Martínez Montañés on the sculptures adorning the elaborate
Fig. 14 Jerónimo Hernández, Cristo Resucitado, 1582, polychromed wood,
Fig. 15 Hieronymus Wierix, Resurrection, before 1586, engraving,
Fig. 17 Gaspar Nuñez Delgado, Head of John the Baptist, 1591,
temporary monument erected in Seville Cathedral to mark
Seville, parish church of La Magdalena.
London, The British Museum.
polychromed wood, Seville, Museo de Bellas Artes.
Philip II’s death in 1598. 31


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