Sculpture Journal

State gift or strategy? La Roldana's Nazareno

Sculpture Journal (2013), 22, (2), 89–96.

Abstract

In the early modern period, the giving of artworks for strategic political or diplomatic purposes was a widespread practice. Adopting this policy, Luisa Roldán (1652-1706), known as La Roldana, carved El Nazareno (The Nazarene), one of her most significant works, now located in the Monastery of Santa Clara, Sisante (Cuenca). Although historiography has considered the piece to be a diplomatic gift, commissioned by King Charles II for Pope Innocent XII, the reality is different. The artwork was actually conceived as a personal gift from Luisa Roldán and her husband, Luis Antonio de los Arcos, for Pope Clement XI. Behind this orchestrated tribute there are a series of hidden interests which are analysed in this study.

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Author details

Estrella, Felipe