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The penitent Saint Jerome
Piquer y Duart, José
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Piquer y Duart, José

Valencia, 1806 - Madrid, 1871

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The penitent Saint Jerome

1844. Bronze.
Room 061

This work´s conception -Saint Jerome listening to the trumpets of the Last Judgement- stems from Piquer´s trip to Paris in 1840. That is where he made the plaster original in 1842. Once cast in bronze, this group was widely admired for its ties to Spanish tradition, including certain Baroque elements that added to its expressive power. Considered his best-known work, and a referent for Romantic sculpture, this work has a very personal touch and a more rhetorical approach to religious subject matter, with a degree of emotivity and freedom in its technical treatment.

The choice of subject matter was difficult because of its severity -an old man, seminude, who has overcome the rigors of asceticism- so the artist attempted to convey, most of all, a sense of the soul, technically accompanied by a study of the loincloth. He approached the work as a play of contrasts between the tension of the moment represented and the tranquility of the lion, crafting a realistic expression of a scene sculpted from life. The work seeks the greatest expression and sense of life with outstanding elegance and a sober modeling that marked an artistic advance in his time.

In 1844 Piquer successfully entered this work in the Exhibition of the Liceo Artístico y Literario and the following year, Elizabeth II ordered it sculpted in Bronze. After a time in the Real Biblioteca, it moved to the Real Museo in 1847.

José Piquer Duarte (Valencia, 1806-Madrid, 1871) studied at the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Carlos and travelled to Paris, Mexico and the United States. In Paris he met the French sculptors d´Angers and Rude, from whom he learned to transmit the expressive strength visible in this bronze. His main genres were royal portraiture and historical subjects. In 1847 he was appointed assistant director of sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, where he was already an academician, and in 1858 he attained the post of first chamber sculptor, which he held until 1866 (Text drawn from Azcue L. en: El siglo XIX en el Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2007, pp. 401-403; Azcue, L.: "La escultura española durante el romanticismo: continuidad y cambios", El arte de la era romántica, 2012, pp. 350-351).

Technical data

Inventory number
Piquer y Duart, José
The penitent Saint Jerome
Height: 105 cm; Width: 148 cm; Base/bottom: 99 cm; Weight: 423.8 Kg
Royal Collection (Madrid, Real Biblioteca), 1847; Museo de Arte Moderno, 1971

Bibliography +

Molins, Mariano Roca de Togores y Saravia Marqués de, Piquer y sus amigos. Discurso inaugural de la sesión de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, 1874.

Museo de Arte Moderno, Catálogo provisional del Museo de Arte Moderno., Imp. del Colegio Nacional de Sordomudos y de Ciegos, Madrid, 1900, pp. 113 nº. 55.

Sentenach, N, Don José Piquer, Boletín de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes, 1914, pp. 171-180.

Pardo Canalís, E, Contribución al estudio de José Piquer y Duart, Archivo español de arte y arqueologia, XX, 1947, pp. 292-302.

Pardo Canalis, Enrique, Escultores del siglo XIX, Instituto Diego Velázquez, Madrid, 1951, pp. 121-128.

Igual Úbeda, Antonio, Escultores valencianos del siglo XVIII en Madrid, Institución Alfonso el Magnanimo, Servicios de Est..., 1968, pp. 87-92.

Rincón, W, La escultura del Museo Romántico, Asociación Amigos del Museo Romántico, Madrid, 1994, pp. 29-30.

Azcue Brea, Leticia, La escultura en la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1994, pp. 415-427.

Azcue Brea, Leticia, La escultura. José Piquer. San Jerónimo penitente En:, El siglo XIX en el Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2007, pp. 401-403 / lám.100.

Azcue Brea, Leticia, La escultura española durante el Romanticismo: continuidad y cambios, El arte de la era romántica, Madrid, 2012, pp. 335-364 [350-1] n.LXI.

Azcue Brea, Leticia, 'José Piquer y Duart' sub vocem en Diccionario biográfico español, XLI, Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid, 2013, pp. 708-711.

Azcue Brea, Leticia, 'La melancolía de Roma: la escultura religiosa académica en la Corte alfonsina. Ecos puristas en la obra de Martín Riesco, los hermanos Vallmitjana o Samsó' En:, Svmma Stvdiorum Scvlptoricae, In memoriam Dr. Lorenzo Hernández Guardiola. II Congreso Internacional de Escultura Religiosa, Crevillent, octubre 2018, Alicante, 2019, pp. 59-104 [64-65].

Other inventories +

Catálogo Museo de Arte Moderno, 1900. Núm. 55.
SECCIÓN DE ESCULTURA. / Piquer y Duart (D. José) [...] 55.- San Jerónimo (Bronce). / Alto 1'00 metros. Ancho 1'45 metros.

Inv. Real Museo, Sección Escultura, 1857. Núm. 982.
982. Una estatua de bronce que representa a San Geronimo recostado sobre un peñasco, y a su lado un leon / echado. / Alto 3 pies, 9 pulg. / Nota al margen: paso al Museo de Arte Moderno'

Catálogo Museo de Arte Moderno, 1899. Núm. 45.
SECCIÓN DE ESCULTURA. / PIQUER Y DUART (D. José) [...] 45.- San Jerónimo recostado sobre un peñasco (Bronce). / Alto 1'00 metros. Ancho 1'80 metros.

Inscriptions +

Incised. Base

Fundido pr./ Dn. Juan Cristofani
Incised. Base

Mandado fundir/en bronce por S.M./La Reyna Dª.Ysabel 2ª/Egecutdo. p.r D..Jose Piquer/1844
Incised. Base

Exhibitions +

El Siglo XIX en el Prado
31.10.2007 - 20.04.2008

Location +

Room 061 (On Display)

Update date: 27-04-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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