Luisa Roldán "La Roldana"

You already know that one of our passions is talking about women. Of artists or artisans, of "witches" and healers, of victims and powerful, of acquaintances and anonymous. Obviously we could not stop talking about the most distinguished Sevillian artist, Luisa Roldán, also known as La Roldana, who was born in Seville in 1662, daughter of the master Pedro Roldán and in whose workshop she trained until reaching the mastery of her father, probably being the best of all apprentices and workshop workers.

Like most women of her time, her life was not easy. Not only because she worked and was an artist in the seventeenth century as a woman, which was a true rarity, and was also paid less than her colleagues for superior jobs, but because her love life was full of troubles. At the age of 19, she married another sculptor's apprentice without receiving the consent of her father, who did not see this relationship favorably.

In 1684, while they were living in Cádiz, he made the Ecce Homo de la Catedral (picture above), a masterpiece of Baroque imagery. After a while, the family moved to Madrid, where she became a chamber sculptor in the Royal Court of Carlos II and Felipe V.

The couple had seven children, although four of them died at an early age. Despite her enormous talent, Luisa Roldán spent the last years of her life ill and poor, having suffered a bad relationship with her husband, a difficult professional life full of difficulties and envy for her condition as a woman, and the grief for the death of their children.

All this, without a doubt, is reflected in his work. Luisa knew how no one could capture anguish, crying or suffering, in works such as the aforementioned Ecce Homo, in his Painful and Nazarenes, but also child tenderness, the joy of parents watching their little ones laugh or take their first steps, as in his images of Saint Joseph or Saint Anthony with the Child, Las Virgenes de la Leche and all their Sagradas Familias, terracotta works of academic size, in which we can see plump and smiling children interacting with the adult characters. They are scenes in which parental happiness, the joy of childhood, the intimacy of breastfeeding are summarized ... you can almost hear the laughter and compliments when you look at them carefully. And yes, they are full of feminine sensitivity and this is a huge contribution from Luisa to her work, in addition to her innate talent, and what makes her UNIQUE.

Do you want to get to know more interesting women from our land more deeply? You can do it with our tour "Illustrious Andalusian Women" that we will do for you and your delighted group. Write to us at and we will inform you of everything.