Old Master Sculpture & Early Jewels

Old Master Sculpture & Early Jewels

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 228. Saint Anthony and the Christ Child.

Workshop of Pedro Roldán the Elder

Saint Anthony and the Christ Child

Lot Closed

July 5, 02:26 PM GMT


60,000 - 80,000 GBP

Lot Details


Workshop of Pedro Roldán the Elder

Seville 1624-1699

Spanish, Seville, 17th century

Saint Anthony and the Christ Child

gilt and polychromed wood

66cm., 26in. overall

This exceptional figure of Saint Anthony of Padua can be convincingly attributed to Pedro Roldán, who was one of the foremost Baroque sculptors active in Seville in the second half of the 17th century. The sculpture is remarkable for the beautifully preserved gold estofado, which finds close parallels within Roldán's autograph oeuvre. The goldwork, which is in near-original condition, is characterised by swirling arabesques filled with gilt striations, and stippled palmette motifs; the underside of the hood and the sleeves are treated with a more restrained dotted decoration.

The Saint Anthony finds a close comparable, compositionally, but, in particular, in the estofado, with the Saint Ignatius Loyola by Roldán in the Museo Nacional Colegio de San Gregorio, the Spanish National Museum of Sculpture in Valladolid (inv. no. CE1126). The Saint Ignatius, which is larger than the present sculpture, standing at 110cm, has closely comparable estofado (similarly set against a black ground, although, as in the present work, this appears dark green today), whilst the delicate facial features with those of the Saint Anthony. Both the Saint Anthony and the Saint Ignatius Loyola find further comparisons in two figures of the Jesuit SS Francis Xavier and Francis Borgia which were presented in the 2009 Matthiesen Fine Art exhibition, The Mystery of Faith (op. cit., no. 14).

Pedro Roldán was one of the finest 17th-century Sevillian sculptors. His four children all became sculptors, including his daughter Luisa Roldán, La Roldána, who is celebrated as one of the great female Spanish sculptors; see her Saint Ginés de la Jara in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (inv. no. 85.SD.161). Pedro Roldán initially worked for Alonso de Mena in Granada between 1638 and 1646, before moving to Seville where he established himself as the foremost sculptor in the city, teaching at the Academia de Arte between 1662 to 1672. His most famous works are the St Joseph, 1664, in Seville Cathedral, as well as several retable groups: the Descent from the Cross intended for the Convent of S. Francisco, Seville (now Seville Cathedral), and the Entombment, 1670-1672, in the church of the Hospital de la Caridad, Seville. In most of these works he collaborated with the painter Valdés Leal, who completed the polychromy. Roldán's most iconic work is, however, the extraordinary Ferdinand III, commissioned in 1671 for Seville Cathedral ahead of the sitter's canonization.


J. Bernales Bellesteros, Pedro Roldán: maestro de escultura (1624-1699), Seville, 1973; M. Trusted, Spanish Sculpture: A Catalogue of the Collection in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1998; S. L. Stratton-Pruitt and JL. Romero Torres, The Mystery of Faith: An Eye on Spanish Sculpture 1550-1750, exh. cat. Matthiesen Gallery and Coll & Cortes, London and Madrid, 2009; M. Bolanos (ed.) Museo Nacional Colegio de San Gregorio (España), Madrid, 2009, no. 14; J. Roda Peña, Pedro Roldán, escultor, 1624-1699, Madrid, 2012; Trusted, M.  Roldán family. Grove Art Online. Retrieved 16 Jun. 2022, from