Saint Ginés de la Jara

Open Content images tend to be large in file-size. To avoid potential data charges from your carrier, we recommend making sure your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network before downloading.

This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.

Currently on view at: Getty Center, Museum East Pavilion, Gallery E201

Object Details

Title:

Saint Ginés de la Jara

Artist/Maker(s):

Luisa Roldán (called "La Roldana") (Spanish, 1652 - 1706)

Polychromer: Tomás de Los Arcos (Spanish, born 1661)

Culture:

Spanish

Date:

about 1692

Medium:

Polychromed wood (pine and cedar) with glass eyes

Dimensions:

175.9 x 91.9 x 74 cm (69 1/4 x 36 3/16 x 29 1/8 in.)

See more

See less

In a richly brocaded robe, with rosy cheeks, shining eyes, and outstretched arms, Saint Ginés de la Jara appeals to the faithful standing before him. His gestures and open mouth suggest that he is preaching. According to legend, after Saint Ginés was decapitated in southern France, he picked up his head and tossed it into the Rhône River. Carried by the sea to the coast of southeastern Spain, it was retrieved and conserved as a relic. Life-sized, devotional cult objects often included glass eyes and were often made out of wood that could be painted in order to achieve lifelike results. Reinforcing the emotional experience of the faithful, such heightened realism typified Spanish Baroque art at a time when the Catholic Church sought to make Christianity more accessible to believers.

Luisa Roldán, also called La Roldana, carved the work. The figure was polychromed by her brother-in-law, Tomás de los Arcos, who used the Spanish technique of estofado to replicate the brocaded ecclesiastical garments. In this process, the area of the figure's garment was first covered in gold leaf and painted over with brown paint, and then incised with a stylus to reveal the gold underneath.

Exhibitions
Spanish Polychromy (April 21 to June 26, 1994)
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, (Los Angeles), April 21 to June 26, 1994
La Roldana's Saint Ginés: The Making of a Polychrome Sculpture (February 17, 2009 to December 11, 2011)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 17, 2009 to December 11, 2011
Bibliography

"Acquisitions/1985." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 14 (1986), p. 264, no. 255.

Westmoreland, R., and T.-A. Hermanès. "Examination and Treatment of a Seventeenth Century Spanish Polychrome Sculpture by José Caro." Conservation of the Iberian and LatinAmerican Cultural Heritage: Preprints of the Contributions to the IIC Madrid Confere nce. H.W.M. Hodges et al., ed. (London, 1992), pp. 175-78.

"Conservation News: Sculpture." J. Paul Getty Museum Calendar (summer 1994), unpaginated.

Sullivan, M. "Giving Spain Its Due." Daily News, 23 April 1994, pp. 16-17.

Alvarez, M.T. "The Reattribution of a Seventeenth-Century Spanish Polychrome Scuplpture." J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 24 (1996), pp. 61-68.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 261, ill.

Fusco, Peter. Summary Catalogue of European Sculpture in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 44, ill.

Bassett, Jane, and Peggy Fogelman. Looking at European Sculpture: A Guide to Technical Terms (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 82.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 261, ill.

"Chip off the old block: Daughter learns to sculpt." Los Angeles Times, April 8, 2003 p. E16, ill.

Basset, Jane and Mari-Tere Alvarez. "Process and collaboration in a seventeenth-century polychrome sculpture: Luisa Roldán and Tomás de los Arcos." In Getty Research Journal 3 (2011), pp.15-32, figs. 1-2, 4, and 7.

Related Media
  • /
    Audio: Saint Ginés de la Jara (Highlights)
  • /
    Audio: Saint Ginés de la Jara (Descriptions)