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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Luisa Roldain

b. 1650, Seville, Spain; d. 1704, Madrid

The correct spelling of this name is LUISA ROLDÁN.

The first recorded female sculptor in Spain, Luisa Roldán was trained by her father, with whom she collaborated on commissions in their native Seville. She combined a specialty in small polychrome terracotta figural groups, unique for its time, and carved wood reliefs. She struck out on her own in 1671, when she married against her parents’ wishes, and established an independent workshop with her husband. Around 1686, she moved to Cádiz to complete a cathedral commission, then relocated to Madrid in 1688 and boldly petitioned the king for the position of court sculptor. The petition was granted in 1692 and she held the post until her death twelve years later.