JORDAN, Esteban
(b. ca. 1529, León, d. ca. 1598, Valladolid)

Main Altar (detail)

c. 1571
Polychrome wood
Church of St Mary Magdalen, Valladolid

The picture shows Sts Peter and Paul from the main altar in the church of St Mary Magdalen at Valladolid.

The group of St Peter and St Paul appealed to Esteban Jordan, who represented it several times. These sculptures reveal the artist's dilemma: attracted at the same time by the expressionism of Juni and the grandeur of Michelangelo, he produced works either lifeless or pretentious. The conventional attitudes, the artificial draperies, show no epic inspiration, no classic harmony. The remarkable development of Spanish sculpture languished towards the end of the 16th century, but Italian artists summoned by Philip II, such as Pompeo Leoni, were to revive it.