Juan Martínez Montañés, known as el Dios de la Madera, was a Spanish sculptor, born at Alcalá la Real, in the province of Jaén. He was one of the most important figures of the Sevillian school of sculpture.
His master was Pablo de Roxas. His first known work, dating to 1597, is the graceful St. Christopher in the church of El Salvador at Seville. His Boy Christ is in the sacristy of the cathedral of Seville. His masterpiece, the great altar of St Jerome at San Isidoro del Campo, Santiponce, near Seville, was contracted in 1609 and completed in 1613. Montañés executed most of his sculpture in wood, which was gessoed, polychromed and gilded.
Other works were the great altars at Santa Clara in Seville and at San Miguel in Jerez, the Immaculate Conception and the realistic figure of Christ Crucified in Cristo de la Clemencìa, commissioned in 1603, in the sacristy of Seville cathedral; the figure of St John the Baptist, and the St Bruno; a tomb for Don Pérez de Guzmán and his wife; the highly realistic polychromed wood head and hands of St Ignatius of Loyola and of St Francis Xavier in the university church of Seville, where the costumed figures were used in celebrations.