Study for a Statue of Queen Isabella

Object Details

Title:

Study for a Statue of Queen Isabella

Artist/Maker(s):

Pedro Mena y Medrano (Spanish, 1628 - 1688)

Culture:

Spanish

Date:

1675

Medium:

Black chalk, pen and brown-gray ink, yellow, gray and red wash

Dimensions:

34.4 x 23.3 cm (13 9/16 x 9 3/16 in.)

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Before an altar with a crown on a large cushion, Queen Isabella the Catholic kneels in silent prayer. She kneels atop an ornate bracket with an empty escutcheon and a large crown in the center, flanked by various emblems and trophies including pomegranates, flags, suits of armor, and two nude men.

The study gives enough careful detail to allow a stone carver to accurately reproduce this proposed design for a polychrome marble statue of the Spanish queen. The calibrations, numbered one to six along the right side of the sheet, would have allowed another craftsman to judge the scale of the work. The careful shading down the right edge of the bracket and around the emblems that hang from it suggests that these areas should project further forward than the top portion of the design. The rectangular frame around the queen represents a shallow niche.

Pedro de Mena y Medrano produced the design for a statue for the main chapel of the cathedral of Granada. A pendant statue portrays Isabella's husband, Ferdinand II of Aragon, who kneels opposite her. So popular were the two statues that they were copied for another cathedral, in Málaga.

Exhibitions
Juanes to Goya: Spanish Drawings 1560 -1825 (September 14 to November 28, 1999)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), September 14 to November 28, 1999
Window onto Spain: Drawings and Prints from Ribera to Goya (February 17 to May 16, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 17 to May 16, 2004
Made for Manufacture: Drawings for Sculpture and the Decorative Arts (February 6 to May 20, 2007)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 6 to May 20, 2007
Made for Manufacture: Drawings for Sculpture and the Decorative Arts (March 31 to July 5, 2009)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 31 to July 5, 2009