MONTAÑÉS, Juan Martínez
(b. 1568, Alcala la Real, d. 1649, Sevilla)

St Ignatius Loyola (detail)

c. 1610
Polychromed wood
Chapel, Seville University

In celebration of St. Ignatius Loyola's beafification in 1610, Montañés carved a statue of the saint, founder of the Society of Jesus. It was painted by Pacheco. As can be verified by the plaster death-mask, which is still preserved, the head is a very lifelike portrait. True to his own gentle temperament, however, Montañés softened the energetic visage of the former soldier, who had conceived of his order as a militia, and gave him an expression of pity. The statue decorates the chapel of Seville University, for which Montañés at a later date also carved a St. Francis Borgia as a counterpart.

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