The present bust of a female saint has the distinctive features of Spanish devotional art dating to the 15th
centuries: her pinched nose, long face and drooped eyelids compare well with the figures of the Lamentation over the Dead Christ
in the Meadows Museum, Dallas (inv. no. 89.02) and the Saint Catherine of Alexandria
in the Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha (inv. no. 1954.302). Another polychromed wood reliquary bust of a female saint, dating to the 16th
century, can be found in the Hispanic Society of America as illustrated by Stratton (op. cit.,
p. 172). Both female saints stare resolutely forwards with inexpressive faces and downcast eyes; they are bedecked in elaborate apparel and both wear prominent head pieces to the tops of their foreheads. The parallel lines of gilding on both busts are achieved by scratching away overpaint, in a distinctive technique known in Spanish as ‘estofado’ - and in the case of the present bust, ‘rajado’.
S. L. Stratton (ed.), Spanish Polychrome Sculpture 1500-1800 in United States Collections, exh. cat. The Spanish Institute, New York, Meadows Museum, Texas and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, 1993, pp. 82-85 and 172