Spanish, Salamanca - Tomb Figure of a Knight, about 1498-1500

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Object details

Accession number

S6e14

Primary Creator

Spanish, Salamanca

Full title

Tomb Figure of a Knight

Creation Date

about 1498-1500

Provenance


Purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner (as an effigy for the tomb of Francisco Maldonado, the Communard of Castile) from the dealer Émile Parès, Madrid (with a processional cross, museum no. M27e12) for a total of 10,000 pesetas in July 1906.

Dimensions

43.2 x 63.5 x 194.3 cm (17 x 25 x 76 1/2 in.)

Display Media

Alabaster

Web Commentary

Noble tombs in Europe often contain figures that portray the deceased. Here, alabaster has been intricately carved to show the textile pattern on the pillow and the chain mail of the armor—all indicators that the deceased was an aristocratic knight.

After the opening of her museum, Isabella Gardner took up a new interest in Spanish art, partly because Italian Renaissance paintings had become too expensive. In 1906, she visited Madrid, where she bought this sculpture. In 1914, she rebuilt part of the museum as the Spanish Cloister (for Sargent’s El Jaleo) and the Spanish Chapel. Isabella Gardner left instructions that her body should lie in state just outside this chapel—in death she would enact the same pose as the stone knight.

Permanent Gallery Location

Spanish Chapel

Bibliography

Morris Carter. Isabella Stewart Gardner and Fenway Court (Boston, 1925; Reprint, Boston, 1972), p. 216.
Gilbert Wendel Longstreet and Morris Carter. General Catalogue (Boston, 1935), p. 48. (as Spanish, latter half of the 15th century)
Ronald Hilton. Handbook of Hispanic Source Materials and Research Organizations in the United States (Stanford, California, 1956), p. 194. (as Spanish, 2nd half of the 15th century)
Cornelius C. Vermeule III et al. Sculpture in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 1977), p. 146, no. 179. (as Spanish, about 1500)
Judith Sobré and Lynette M. F. Bosch. The Artistic Splendor of the Spanish Kingdoms: The Art of Fifteenth-Century Spain. Exh. cat. (Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1996), pp. 49-50, cat. 11, fig. 11-1. (as by an anonymous Castillian master, active in Salamanca (?), about 1498-1500)
"Un caballero charro en Boston." La Gaceta de Salamanca (Salamanca, 3 Jan. 2013).
Richard L. Kagan. The Spanish Craze: America's Fascination with the Hispanic World, 1779-1939 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2019), p. 264.

Rights and reproductions

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Commentary

Noble tombs in Europe often contain figures that portray the deceased. Here, alabaster has been intricately carved to show the textile pattern on the pillow and the chain mail of the armor—all indicators that the deceased was an aristocratic knight.

After the opening of her museum, Isabella Gardner took up a new interest in Spanish art, partly because Italian Renaissance paintings had become too expensive. In 1906, she visited Madrid, where she bought this sculpture. In 1914, she rebuilt part of the museum as the Spanish Cloister (for Sargent’s El Jaleo) and the Spanish Chapel. Isabella Gardner left instructions that her body should lie in state just outside this chapel—in death she would enact the same pose as the stone knight.