A sculpture by Pedro de Mena (b. Granada 1628 – d. Malaga 1688) of the Mater Dolorosa or Virgin of Sorrows has gone on display at The Fitzwilliam in Cambridge in a drive to help publicise the Museum’s funding-raising appeal for the acquisition of the work.
Tim Knox Director of the Museum, who has kindly entertained a group of ARTES members at his home, commented to the BBC , “Much of Mena’s work was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War and there is not a single autograph piece by Mena in a UK museum. The Mater Dolorosa [Virgin of Sorrows] would be a fantastic addition to our small but significant collection of… wood sculpture.”
This polychrome wood bust of the Virgin is an outstanding and rare example of the sculptor’s work. Very few pieces by de Mena are to be found anywhere except in the churches, monasteries and convents for which they were originally commissioned. This particular work was most probably made for private devotional purposes and would have been part of a pair with an Ecce Homo.
The Fitzwilliam has already raised nearly £60,000 towards the purchase of this work but it still needs to secure a further £25,000 before the end of this coming month (September 2014). If you would like to give something to help, please go to the online donation site Just Giving or contact Sue Rhodes, Development Officer by email at Sue Rhodes or call 01223 332939.