By Diego de Pesquera / Relief / 16th century (1567-68)By Diego de Pesquera
16th century (1567-68)

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Creator Name: Pesquera, Diego de
Creator Role: Sculptor
Creator Dates/Places: active Granada 1563-Seville 1580
Creator Name-CRT: By Diego de Pesquera
Title: Relief
Title Type: Object name
Title: The Holy Family with Saints Anne and Joachim
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1567
Creation End Date: 1568
Creation Date: 16th century (1567-68)
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: Wood, polychromed and gilded
Dimensions: 62 1/2 x 42 in. (158.8 x 106.7 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 45.128.5
Credit Line: Bequest of Helen Hay Whitney, 1944

This panel came from a retable made for the parish church of Los Ojíjares, near Granada, which was dedicated to Saint Anne, the mother of the Virgin. Saint Anne and her husband, Joaquim, prominently featured in the relief, were honored in Catholic devotion as emblems of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin, a cult that was especially popular in Spain. The panel remained in place from its creation in the mid-sixteenth century until it was sold in 1881.

A record of its commission in 1567 establishes that Diego de Pesquera carved the relief; the painting and gilding were entrusted to other specialists. The surface is amazingly intact, and the relief is a model display of the Spanish estofado technique, in which gilding and polychromy interact in vibrant patterns. Brocaded fabrics are imitated with particular skill.

The sculptor clearly was aware of developments in Italian Renaissance art. There is an attractive naturalism in the broad forms of the healthy wriggling infant. Equally striking is the elegantly mannered attenuation of the Virgin and Saint Anne.

AMICA ID: MMA_.45.128.5
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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