Luisa Roldán (Illuminating Women Artists) (Hardcover)
Luisa Roldán (1652–1706), also known as La Roldana, was an accomplished Spanish Baroque artist, much admired during her lifetime for her exquisitely crafted and painted wood and terracotta sculptures. Roldán trained under her father and worked in Seville, Cádiz, and Madrid. She even served as sculptor to the royal chambers of two kings of Spain. Yet despite her great artistry and achievements, she has been largely forgotten by modern art history.
Written for art lovers of all backgrounds, this beautifully illustrated book offers an important perspective that has been missing—a deeper understanding of the opportunities, and the challenges, facing a woman artist in Roldán’s time. With attention to the historical and social dynamics of her milieu, this volume places Roldán’s work in context alongside that of other artists of the period, including Velázquez, Murillo, and Zurbarán, and provides much-needed insight into what life was like for this trailblazing artist of seventeenth-century Spain.
—Patrick Lenaghan, Curator, Hispanic Society Museum and Library
"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
“While all this information has been noted by historians, Art Daily reports that the new book by Catherine Hall-van den Elsen brings the artist’s “exquisitely crafted” work to life. That’s because the historian doesn’t just recount the facts of Roldan’s life, but she also “gorgeously illustrated” them with 81 full-color illustrations of the artist’s sculptures [that] “reveals how talented” she was.”
— Joan Altabe
“Makes an important contribution to the existing bibliography . . . and to raising the profile of Roldán's enchanting terracottas, which deserve a catalogue all of their own.”
— Nicola Jennings
“Lavishly filled with gorgeous photos.”
“In addition to highlighting her considerable skill in sculpting polychrome wood and terracotta sculptures, Catherine Hall-van den Elsen delves into 17th-century Spanish society, painting a picture of what life would have been like for a woman of the era, and the challenges faced by women artists in particular.”
— Sarah Cascone