(b. 1707, Murcia, d. 1783, Murcia)
Iglesia de Jesus, Murcia
The mundane rhetoric in the works of Francisco Salzillo (also spelled Zarcillo) might be interpreted as the expression of a decadence of religious feeling; but in fact it springs from a deep-rooted faith. While yet a child, Francisco Salzillo entered a Dominican monastery as a novice. When he was twenty, he left the monastery to assume direction of the atelier of his father, Vincente Nicolas Salzillo, who died in 1727. Vincente Nicolas had come from Naples to settle in Murcia at the end of the 17th century. Undoubtedly, the breath of Italianism which he brought with him was instrumental in dispelling some of the gravity that the Spanish sculptors typically imparted to their religious works. The workshop of Francisco Salzillo, who was helped by his brothers, was amazingly productive; Léon Bermudez has counted 1,792 works definitely by the master's hand.