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Sculpture

Throughout the more than 120 years of its history, numerous wellknown sculptors and image-makers have passed through Talleres de Arte Granda, the sacred art workshops where they have produced some of their best works and left their mark for all time, training several generations of apprentices.

José Capuz, Frechilla, Vicent, Ortega Bru and Núñez-Ladevèze are just some of the finest artists who have worked and collaborated with Granda since its beginnings, helping to create with their skills and search for perfection works of arts, such as altarpieces and statues, ideally suited for worship.

These works, created out of humility and anonymously, emulating medieval workshops where the artist’s name was insignificant compared with the sacred art’s purpose: the plastic representation of religious mysteries, as was Felix Granda’s desire, now decorate cathedrals, churches, hapels and oratories.

Escultor
Escultor

Artisanal techniques

The religious sculpture of the Baroque period, polychromatic imagery, continues to inspire GRANDA artists and artisans even today. The subject matter is exclusively religious. Sculptures with a strong sense of movement, tension and energy; asymetric composition with a predominance of diagonals, foreshortening and stark contrasts between light and shadow, highlighting the images’ naturalism and scenographic effects.

Guided by the artists’ creative sensibility, these figures are no mere repetition of a stereotype but individual and unrepeatable images, endowed with their own personality. Our artists breath into each statue the representation of their own inner feelings, reflecting in the statues’ faces the passions felt by each one of the characters represented. The aim being sought with this type of sculpture is to arouse feelings and promote emotions.

The GRANDA artisans, as an expressive language, avoid representations of exaggerated realism that, instead of awakening pity, provoke rejection. With profound dynamism and highly expressive miens, they seek beauty without rejecting spiritual content. When a craftsman tackles the task of creating a statue, he has a wide range of expressive resources available to him to guarantee its embellishment, from simple carved wood to the complex and elaborate “estofado” techniques. The technique most widely used in GRANDA is carved and polychromed wood which guarantees the most convincing realism accentuated by colour, endowing the statue with a more natural appearance.

Policromía

Polichromy, gilding and "estofado"

Polychromy can be achieved through a combination of different coloured materials in the same statue or by painting the statue’s surface. The simplest polychrome procedure is to apply the different colours directly onto the natural or polished wood. Soft tempera or wax-based colours that can then be varnished are used.

Polychrome is not only applied to statuary, however. This technique allows any type of finish to be simulated on wood, leading to the creation of beatiful trompe-l’oeil pieces. Particularly worthy of note is the skill achieved by our artisans in the creation of faux marble finishes.

Gilding is a complex decorative technique used to give carved wood pieces a simulated gold or silver finish or to give a special shine to the paintings applied on top.

“Estofado”, a traditional Spanish technique, consists in painting over the statue’s gilded elements, particularly clothing and embellishments, with different colours. Before the colours dry completely, the artist etches intricate patterns in the colourful painted surface using small softwood punches, with which the paint is scratched away to reveal the lower surface’s gilding. This complicated technique aims to imitate in sculpture brocade cloth with gold and silver threads.

Talla

Materials and qualities

Wood is the material in which GRANDA develops its maximum artistic capabilities, creating large-format works, i.e. altarpieces and processional floats.

The wood used in the statues is solid, mainly cedar and lime, depending on the environmental conditions of the place of destination. When necessary, the wood is subjected to special treatments to protect it against fire, insects and moisture, in order to adapt it to the spaces in which the statues are to be placed.

True to our commitment to quality and excellence, and fully involved in the fight for the conservation of the environment, we take special care to ensure that the wood we use comes from sustainable forests and has all the appropriate environmental certificates.

The pigments and glues traditionally used in Spanish statuary craftsmanship are still being used today. Gilding is carried out with 24 carat gold leaf.

Escultura paso
Escultura paso

Altarpieces and processional floats

Altarpieces as well as processional floats are works of art of considerable complexity requiring the participation of all the crafts represented in GRANDA. Cabinetmakers and carpenters for the structure; carvers, polychome artists and gilders, whose gouges and brushes give the images human expression; goldsmiths who execute the crowns and embellish the thrones; and seamstresses and embroiderers who prepare the vestments with which the figures are dressed and the exquisite decorations that so frequently embellish the figures, all give of their best to make these major works of art what they are.