Pedro de Mena
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He was born at Granada, in Andalusia. He was a pupil of his father Alonso de Mena as well as of Alonzo Cano. His first conspicuous success was achieved in work for the convent of St. Anthony Granada, including figures of St Joseph, St Antony of Padua, St Diego, St Pedro Mentara, St Franciscus and Santa Clara.
In 1658 he signed a contract for sculptural, work on the choir stalls of the cathedral of Málaga, this work extending over four years. Other works are, statues of the Madonna and child and of St Joseph in Madrid, the polychromatic figures in the church of St Isodoro, the Magdalena and the Gertrudlis in the church of St Martin (Madrid), the crucifixion in the Nuestra Señora de Gracia (Madrid), the statuette of St Francis of Assisi in Toledo, and of St Joseph in the St Nicholas church in Murcia.
Between 1673 and 1679 Mena worked at Córdoba. About 1680 he was in Granada, where he executed a half-length Madonna and child (seated) for the church of St. Dominic.
Mena died in Málaga, city where he spent most of his life, and where he had a sculpture studio for thirty years until his death in 1688.
He and José Mora may be regarded as artistic descendants of Juan Martínez Montañés and Cano, but in technical skill and the expression of religious motive his statues are unsurpassed in the sculpture of Spain. His feeling for the nude was remarkable. Like his immediate predecessors he excelled in the portrayal of contemplative figures and scenes; Mena's drawing of Santiago leaping upon his charger is good, and the carving admirable, but the necessary movement for so spirited an action is lacking.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.