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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. Not on display

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
E000791
Author
Piquer y Duart, José
Title
The penitent Saint Jerome
Date
1844
Technique
Cast
Medium
Bronze
Dimension
Height: 105 cm.; Width: 148 cm.; Base/bottom: 99 cm.; Weight: 423.8 Kg.
Provenance
Royal Collection (Madrid, Real Biblioteca), 1847; Museo de Arte Moderno, 1971

Bibliography +

Azcue Brea, Leticia, La escultura. José Piquer. San Jerónimo penitente, 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, 'Voz de José Piquer y Duart'. 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 +

Inv. Real Museo, 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.

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.

Exhibitions +

El Siglo XIX en el Prado
31.10.2007 - 20.04.2008

Update date: 17-06-2020 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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