"This lavishly illustrated volume provides an invaluable introduction to the figure of Luisa Roldán, a major sculptor of the late seventeenth–century, whose importance scholars have only recently recognized. Drawing on her own extensive archival research and decades of first-hand study of the sculpture, Catherine Hall–van den Elsen offers a sensitive analysis of the works while also setting them effectively in their historical context. Hall–van den Elsen thus presents a nuanced account which reveals the challenges that Luisa faced and largely overcame to establish herself as a prominent artist in a society where few women achieved comparable success. More than the story of one remarkable sculptor, this book also offers insights into the challenges women confronted in seventeenth-century Spain and the artistic production of the period."
—Patrick Lenaghan, Curator, Hispanic Society Museum and Library
"Catherine Hall has produced a book which is a pleasure to read, superbly illustrated, incorporating fascinating details about the society in which Luisa worked, including the challenges she faced as a woman artist. At the same time this monograph is rooted in serious scholarship, discussing the process of some of the commissions, as well as the materials and techniques lying behind the creation of these extraordinary works of art. This is both a highly readable and delightful book."
—Marjorie Trusted, Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Victoria and Albert Museum
“While all this information has been noted by historians, Art Daily reports that the new book by Catherine Hall-van den Elsen brings the artist’s “exquisitely crafted” work to life. That’s because the historian doesn’t just recount the facts of Roldan’s life, but she also “gorgeously illustrated” them with 81 full-color illustrations of the artist’s sculptures [that] “reveals how talented” she was.”
— Joan Altabe
“Makes an important contribution to the existing bibliography . . . and to raising the profile of Roldán's enchanting terracottas, which deserve a catalogue all of their own.”
— Nicola Jennings
“Lavishly filled with gorgeous photos.”
“In addition to highlighting her considerable skill in sculpting polychrome wood and terracotta sculptures, Catherine Hall-van den Elsen delves into 17th-century Spanish society, painting a picture of what life would have been like for a woman of the era, and the challenges faced by women artists in particular.”
— Sarah Cascone