Making a Spanish Polychrome Sculpture

Seventeenth-century Spanish polychrome sculpture was intended to appear as lifelike as possible. Compared to bronze or marble statues, sculpted and painted wooden figures–often with glass eyes and wigs–achieve a remarkable realistic effect. Artists specialized in particular Spanish polychromy techniques, such as estofado: painting and incising to create rich silk fabrics with raised patterns in gold and silver used for the garments, and encarnaciones: blending and applying of oil paint for lips, hair, and modulations of the skin. Learn more about these techniques in this video from the Getty Museum.

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Related exhibition:

Saint Ginés de la Jara

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