The Entombment of Christ
Luisa Roldán, called La Roldana Spanish
The Entombment is one of the two “jewel-like sculptures” Luisa Roldán gave to the newly installed King Philip V of Spain in 1701, petitioning him to appoint her sculptor to the royal court. In the previous decade she had pioneered a genre of sculpture—powerfully conceived and exquisitely modelled and painted figural groups, made on a deliberately intimate scale—of which this is perhaps the finest. The emotive expressions of the six figures surrounding the body of Christ as he is laid to rest run the gamut from angry disbelief and empty grief, to tender love and sympathy. The Entombment may have been placed in a convent or monastery affiliated with the royal family, or in the family’s private rooms or chapels. In whichever context, it would have inspired meditative devotion, encouraging the viewer to identify with the witnesses to Christ’s Passion.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.