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Hardback144 PagesSize: 250 × 190 mm
4 B&W illustrations and 83 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781848224469Publication: September 01, 2021
Series: Illuminating Women Artists

'Catherine Hall has produced a book which is a pleasure to read, superbly illustrated, incorporating fascinating details about the society in which Luisa worked, including the challenges she faced as a woman artist. At the same time this monograph is rooted in serious scholarship, discussing the process of some of the commissions, as well as the materials and techniques lying behind the creation of these extraordinary works of art. This is both a highly readable and delightful book.'— Marjorie Trusted, Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Victoria and Albert Museum

'An invaluable introduction to the figure of Luisa Roldán. . . . Drawing on her own extensive archival research and decades of firsthand study of the sculpture, Catherine Hall-van den Elsen offers a sensitive analysis of the works while also setting them effectively in their historical context . . . . More than the story of one remarkable sculptor, this book also offers insights into the challenges women confronted in seventeenth-century Spain and the artistic production of the period.'—Patrick Lenaghan, Curator, Hispanic Society Museum and Library

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Luisa Roldán

Catherine Hall-van den Elsen


£30.00 GBP

Available for preorder: this book will be shipped on its publication date of September 01, 2021

  • The first monograph in English on the Spanish sculptor Luisa Roldán (1652–1706) and the inaugural volume in Lund Humphries' Illuminating Women Artists series
  • Presents more than 80 colour photographs of works that have rarely, if ever, been reproduced previously in books or journals
  • Offers invaluable insights into Roldán's technical innovations and artistic achievements and includes a list of extant works in public and church collections


This beautifully illustrated monograph presents the first overview in English of the life and work of Luisa Roldán (1652–1706), a prolific and celebrated sculptor of the Spanish Golden Age.

The daughter of Pedro Roldán, a well-known sculptor from Seville, she developed her talent in her father’s workshop. Early in her career she produced large polychromed wooden sculptures for churches in Seville, Cádiz, and surrounding towns. She spent the second half of her career in Madrid, where she worked in both polychromed wood and polychromed terracotta, developing new products for a domestic, devotional market. In recognition of her talent, she was awarded the title of Sculptor to the Royal Chambers of two kings of Spain, Charles II and Philip V.

This book places Roldán within a wider historical and social context, exploring what life would have been like for her as a woman sculptor in early modern Spain. It considers her work alongside that of other artists of the Baroque period, including Velázquez, Murillo, and Zurbarán. Reflecting on the opportunities available to her during this time, as well as the challenges she faced, Catherine Hall-van den Elsen weaves the narrative of Roldán's story with analysis, revealing the complexities of her oeuvre. 

Every year, newly discovered sculptures in wood and in terracotta enter into Roldán’s oeuvre. As her artistic output begins to attract greater attention from scholars and art lovers, Luisa Roldán provides invaluable insights into her artistic achievements.

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