Study for a Statue of Queen Isabella

Pedro de Mena1673–1674

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Before an altar with a crown on a large cushion, Queen Isabella the Catholic kneels in silent prayer. She kneels atop an ornate bracket with an empty escutcheon and a large crown in the center, flanked by various emblems and trophies including pomegranates, flags, suits of armor, and two nude men.

The study gives enough careful detail to allow a stone carver to accurately reproduce this proposed design for a polychrome marble statue of the Spanish queen. The calibrations, numbered one to six along the right side of the sheet, would have allowed another craftsman to judge the scale of the work. The careful shading down the right edge of the bracket and around the emblems that hang from it suggests that these areas should project further forward than the top portion of the design. The rectangular frame around the queen represents a shallow niche.

Pedro de Mena y Medrano produced the design for a statue for the main chapel of the cathedral of Granada. A pendant statue portrays Isabella's husband, Ferdinand II of Aragon, who kneels opposite her. So popular were the two statues that they were copied for another cathedral, in Málaga.


  • Title: Study for a Statue of Queen Isabella
  • Creator: Pedro Mena y Medrano
  • Date Created: 1673–1674
  • Physical Dimensions: 34.4 × 23.3 cm (13 9/16 × 9 3/16 in.)
  • Type: Drawing
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Black chalk, pen and brown-gray ink, with yellow, gray and red wash
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 94.GA.82
  • Culture: Spanish
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Pedro Mena y Medrano (Spanish, 1628 - 1688)
  • Classification: Drawings (Visual Works)

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