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One of the Eleven Thousand Virgins’ bust Sevillian Sculptor


Sevillian Sculptor active in the first half of the 17th century

Culture Spanish
Date early 17th century
Object type sculpture
Medium, technique painted and gilded wood

41 × 36 × 18 cm, 4 kg

Inventory number 65.2
Collection Sculpture
On view Museum of Fine Arts, First Floor, European Art 1600–1700 and British Painting 1600–1800, Cabinet 6

The bust of one of Saint Ursula’s companions once held a bone relic in the medallion on her chest. This type of reliquary flourished in fourteenth-century Cologne, where legend has it that Saint Ursula and her companions were massacred. The bust is characterised by the impressive sensuality and rich detail of Spanish early Baroque liturgical woodcarving. Her dress is decorated with an estofado, a precious pattern imitating ornate drapery, made using the sgraffito technique. This technique, which creates patterns by scraping back a layer of paint over the gilded layer, was particularly widespread in Spain at the time. The Sevillian Juan Martínez Montañés, with whose circle this bust is associated, was also fond of the technique.


Balogh, Jolán, Katalog der ausländischen Bildwerke des Museums der bildenden Künste in Budapest, IV – XVIII. Jahrhundert: 1. Textband Bd. 1, Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1975, p. 210., no. 298.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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