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Study for a Statue of Queen Isabella
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Pedro de Mena y Medrano
Spanish, 1675
Black chalk, pen and brown-gray ink, yellow, gray, and red wash
13 9/16 x 9 3/16 in.
94.GA.82

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Before an altar with a crown on a large cushion, Queen Isabella the Catholic kneels in silent prayer. She kneels atop an ornate bracket with an empty escutcheon and a large crown in the center, flanked by various emblems and trophies including pomegranates, flags, suits of armor, and two nude men.

The study gives enough careful detail to allow a stone carver to accurately reproduce this proposed design for a polychrome marble statue of the Spanish queen. The calibrations, numbered one to six along the right side of the sheet, would have allowed another craftsman to judge the scale of the work. The careful shading down the right edge of the bracket and around the emblems that hang from it suggests that these areas should project further forward than the top portion of the design. The rectangular frame around the queen represents a shallow niche.

Pedro de Mena y Medrano produced the design for a statue for the main chapel of the cathedral of Granada. A pendant statue portrays Isabella's husband, Ferdinand II of Aragon, who kneels opposite her. So popular were the two statues that they were copied for another cathedral, in Málaga.

Detail Views

Detail of pomegranate
Detail of pomegranate

Signature
Signature