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Effigy - Effigy of a Lady

Effigy of a Lady

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Spain (Castilo (Toledo?), made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1490 - ca. 1510 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted and gilt poplar and canvas

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Spanish wood effigies are comparably rare, probably because wood is less durable than stone, and wood effigies were therefore less commonly commissioned, although it is possible that they were less unusual than now appears, and that many have simply not survived.
The identity of the subject is unknown although the costume suggests that she was perhaps a widow; probably the original tomb displayed heraldic devices since lost. The pose and costume recall a number of effigies made in the Castile region in the late 15th and early 16th century.

Physical description

The subject is shown with closed eyes lying on her back, her arms bent, held over her chest. The figure is hollow, and rests on boards, as noted above. She wears a cloak over a robe, and a widow's veil and barbe around her head. Two folds of teh cloak are gathered up under her arms. The head is supproted by two tasselled cushions, and the feet by one. The borders of the cloak are carved with tendril designs. Elsewhere the garments are decorated in the estofado technique, although some of the designs on the cloak appear to be later, probably dating from the eighteenth century.

Place of Origin

Spain (Castilo (Toledo?), made)


ca. 1490 - ca. 1510 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Painted and gilt poplar and canvas


Height: 28 cm, Width: 46.5 cm, Length: 158 cm

Object history note

From a redundant loan (ex Speyer loan No. 1), written on.

Descriptive line

Effigy, carved painted and gilt poplar wood and canvas, sepulchral effigy of a lady, made in Spain, Castile (Toledo?), ca. 1490-1510

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Trusted, Marjorie. Spanish Sculpture. Catalogue of the Post-Medieval Spanish Sculpture in Wood, Terracotta, Alabaster, Marble, Stone, Lead and Jet in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1996, pp. 21-22, cat. no. 2, plate 2
Williamson, Paul, ‘Recent Acquisitions (2000-06) of sculpture at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London’, in: The Burlington Magazine, CXLVIII, December, 2006, p. 888, fig IV


Wood; Paint; Canvas; Poplar


Sculpture; Death


Sculpture Collection

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