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New volume explores the life and work of Spanish sculptor Luisa Roldán
Luisa Roldán. Catherine Hall-van den Elsen. 144 pages, 7½ x 9¾ inches. Illustrations: 81 colour and 7 b&w illustrations. ISBN: 978-1-60606-732-1. £30/$40. Publication date: September 7, 2021.



LOS ANGELES, CA.- Luisa Roldán, also known as La Roldana, was a highly accomplished and sought after Spanish Baroque artist. She was known for her exquisitely crafted and painted wood and terracotta sculptures and served as the court sculptor to two Spanish kings. Despite her success and acclaim, the work of La Roldana has been largely forgotten by modern art history.

Luisa Roldán (Getty Publications, $40.00) is an accessibly written monograph, suitable for art lovers of all backgrounds. This gorgeously illustrated book presents a long overdue exploration of Roldán’s oeuvre, while situating her work in the prevalent historical and social dynamics of her milieu. This volume places Roldán and her work alongside some of her peers, including Velázquez, Murillo, and Zurburán. This context reveals how talented and admired La Roldana was, as well as what life was like for this trailblazing artist of seventeenth-century Spain.

Luisa Roldán is the first in a series of books entitled Illuminating Women Artists published in partnership with UK publisher Lund Humphries. This series of beautifully illustrated books is the first to focus in a deliberate and sustained way on women artists throughout history, to recognize their accomplishments, to revive their name recognition, and to make their works better known to art enthusiasts of the 21st century.

The Illuminating Women Artists series launches at a critical moment in our culture. It is a significant contribution to a movement underway—among scholars, museums, art dealers and collectors, and the wider world of cultural heritage—to reassess the contributions of women artists.

Catherine Hall-van den Elsen studied Spanish art at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. She completed her MA and PhD on the life and work of Luisa Roldán.

"An invaluable introduction to the figure of Luisa Roldán. . . . Drawing on her own extensive archival research and decades of firsthand study of the sculpture, Catherine Hall-van den Elsen offers a sensitive analysis of the works while also setting them effectively in their historical context . . . . More than the story of one remarkable sculptor, this book also offers insights into the challenges women confronted in seventeenth-century Spain and the artistic production of the period."—Patrick Lenaghan, Curator, Hispanic Society Museum and Library

"Catherine Hall has produced a book which is a pleasure to read, superbly illustrated, incorporating fascinating details about the society in which Luisa worked, including the challenges she faced as a woman artist. At the same time this monograph is rooted in serious scholarship, discussing the process of some of the commissions, as well as the materials and techniques lying behind the creation of these extraordinary works of art. This is both a highly readable and delightful book."—?Marjorie Trusted, Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Victoria and Albert Museum










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