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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Gilded Figures: Wood and Clay Made Flesh

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Hispanic Society Museum & Library / New York / Art

Gilded polychrome sculpture goes back to Ancient Greece and Rome. But from the 1500s to the 1800s it was a major art form in the Hispanic world. The Hispanic Museum & Library, a gem in Washington Heights in north Manhattan, holds the most splendid collection of these sculptures outside of Spain. Predominantly they depict figures from the Roman Catholic Church—Christ, saints, and the Holy Family. Some were once adorned with jewels, others wore actual clothes, still others are carved and painted to replicate cloth. This exhibition, the first to feature gilded polychrome works in New York in 20 years, presents over 20 sculptures. Highlights include Gil de Siloe’s relief of the Resurrection, and works—yes!—by highly skilled female artists such as Luisa Roldán and Andrea de Mena. —E.C.

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Hispanic Society Museum & Library 613 W 155th St, New York, NY 10032
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