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Effigy - Doña María de Perea

Doña María de Perea

  • Object:

    Effigy

  • Place of origin:

    Toledo (City) (made)

  • Date:

    1499-1505 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved alabaster

  • Museum number:

    A.49-1910

  • Gallery location:

    Medieval & Renaissance, Room 50a, The Paul and Jill Ruddock Gallery, case FS

This effigy of Doña María de Perea (d. 1499) is a pendant to that of her husband, Don García de Osorio (d. after 1502). Both effigies were originally placed in the church of S. Pedro at Ocaña near Toledo in Spain, but they were removed when the church was declared structurally unsound in 1906. Doña María holds a rosary, an indication of her piety.

The church of S. Pedro was closely associated with the military Order of Santiago, which owned Ocaña.

Doña María's simple dress, reminiscent of a nun, also implies her lack of ostentation and her religious devotion. Although the author of the tomb is unknown, he is likely to have been a sculptor active in Toledo, and the skill with which the dress and portraits are rendered on both this effigy and that of don García Osorio (doña María Perea's husband) suggests an experienced Castilian sculptor perhaps influenced by Netherlandish prototypes, in the tradition of Gil de Siloe.

Physical description

Alabaster effigy of Doña María de Perea

Place of Origin

Toledo (City) (made)

Date

1499-1505 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Carved alabaster

Dimensions

Height: 33.5 cm, Width: 66 cm, Length: 200 cm

Object history note

Like A.48-1910, this effigy was originally in a chapel of the church of S. Pedro at Ocaña, about fifty kilometres east of Toledo. The church was used for meetings of the Castilian cortes (the local parliament), and for important ceremonial occasions, until the the end of the fifteenth century. The contents of the church were dispersed in about 1906, when the building was declared structurally unsafe (it was demolished in 1907). The effigies may have been acquired by a Madrid dealer, Borondo, and were subsequently bought by the London dealer Lionel Harris, from whom the Museum purchased them. Two other effigies from the same church were bought by the Hispanic Society of America in New York at the same time.

Historical significance: Doña María Perea is shown holding rosary beads, a symbol of her piety. At her feet a small mourning allegorical female figure leans against three books, which may well be intended to represent devotional volumes. Doña María's simple dress, reminiscent of a nun, also implies her lack of ostentation and her religious devotion. Although the author of the tomb is unknown, he is likely to have been a sculptor active in Toledo, and the skill with which the dress and portraits are rendered on both this effigy and that of don García Osorio (doña María Perea's husband) suggests an experienced Castilian sculptor perhaps influenced by Netherlandish prototypes, in the tradition of Gil de Siloe.

Historical context note

The church of S. Pedro was closely associated with the military Order of Santiago, which owned Ocaña. The subject of this effigy was doña María de Perea (d. after 1499), the wife of don García Osorio, a knight of the Order of Santiago, whose effigy is also in the collection (A.48-1910).

Descriptive line

Effigy, alabaster, of Doña María de Perea, in the tradition of the work of Gil de Siloe, Spain (Castilian), perhaps Toledo, ca. 1499-1505

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

Trusted, Marjorie. Spanish Sculpture. London : Victoria and Albert Museum, 1996. 172 p., ill. ISBN 1851771778.
Anderson, RM, Hispanic Costume 1480-1530, New York, 1979, fig. 533
Anderson, RM, "El Chapín y otros zapatos a fines". In: Cuadernos de la Alhambra, 1969, no. 5, fig. XVIII, (b)
Trusted, Marjorie, ed. The Making of Sculpture. The Materials and Techniques of European Sculpture. London: 2007, p. 111, pl. 196

Production Note

Analogies can be made with works by the Toledo sculptor Sebastián de Almonacid, and the tomb can be seen to be in the tradition of the work of Gil de Siloe, who was active in Burgos in the late fifteenth century.

Materials

Alabaster

Techniques

Carving

Categories

Sculpture; Death

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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