The sculpture represents this Franciscan saint when he receives divine inspiration, with an eager look and lifted arms like holding the quill and the book, both lost today. The ecstasy is captured like in a snapshot, freezing him in a brief moment. His life, austere and penitent, is shown through his bare feet, the patches of the simple habit and his extreme thinness, clear in his neck, head and hands, that are represented according to the description Saint Therese makes of him as " made out of roots". The volume of the habit are polished to its maximum in order to concentrate all the emotional load in his face and hands, giving us a lot of what the baroque singularity means, very far from the heroic and winning conception of Bernini or the drama of the French and central European plastic. This image of the saint from Extremadura might be the best of all the series Mena made, being dated around 1663, when he was named sculptor of the Toledo Cathedral. His representations of Saint Peter of Alcantara, Saint Francis, Our lady of Sorrows or Mary Magdalene seem to be the perfect definition of the states of the soul or pure feelings (ecstasy, pain, repentance...), and although based in already existing iconographies, have gone to Art History as authentic models, creating series according to the demand they created.


  • Title: Saint Peter of Alcántara
  • Date Created: 1660 - 1665
  • Physical Dimensions: w40 x h78 x d36 cm
  • Esculptor: Pedro de Mena y Medrano
  • Type: Esculpture
  • External Link: CERES


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