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“She was not afraid. She wasn’t daunted. I think that’s one of the key differentiators about her and her career.”

Sculptor Luisa Roldán (1652–1706) followed a rare path for women in 17th-century Spain. Like other female artists, she trained and worked in the studio of a male family member, in this case her father. After marrying at 19, she established herself as an independent artist. This set her apart from most other women of her day, who stopped making art when they started families of their own. Roldán, working alongside her husband and brother-in-law, specialized in large painted wooden sculptures, terracotta groups, and reliefs. Overcoming societal limitations, Roldán took risks, worked for the Spanish kings, and was widely recognized as an accomplished artist during her lifetime.

In this episode, author Catherine Hall-van den Elsen discusses her new book Luisa Roldán, the first in the new Getty Publications series Illuminating Women Artists. Hall-van den Elsen explores Roldán’s personal challenges, career trajectory, and her most penetrating Baroque works, placing them in their historical context.

More to explore:

Luisa Roldán buy the book
Luisa Roldán’s Saint Ginés de la Jara learn about the Getty Museum’s Roldán
Reflections: Maite Alvarez on Luisa Roldán hear more about the Getty Museum’s Roldán

JAMES CUNO: Hello, I’m Jim Cuno, president of the J. Paul Getty Trust. Welcome to Art and Ideas, a podcast in which I speak to artists, conservators, authors, and scholars about their work.
CATHY HALL-VAN DEN ELSEN: She was not afraid. She wasn’t daunted. I think that’s one of the ...

Music Credits
“The Dharma at Big Sur – Sri Moonshine and A New Day.” Music written by John Adams and licensed with permission from Hendon Music. (P) 2006 Nonesuch Records, Inc., Produced Under License From Nonesuch Records, Inc. ISRC: USNO10600825 & USNO10600824

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This post is part of Art + Ideas, a podcast in which Getty president Jim Cuno talks with artists, writers, curators, and scholars about their work.
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