The Piety was made by Gregorio Fernández. It was made in Valladolid in 1616 and it was commissioned by the Illustrious Penitential Brotherhood of Our Lady of Anguish. It belonged to a processional float which was showed in the religious processions during the Holy Week with other sculptures, such as the “good thief” or Dimas and the “impenitent thief” or Gestas, Saint John and the Magdalen.
The Sixth Anguish or Piety.
Its size is 1,75 m high x 2,18 m wide. It’s made up of wood and polychrome. At the moment, this sculpture is in the National Museum of Sculpture in Valladolid.
This a religious sculpture and it represents one of the final stages of Christ’s Passion. The Virgin is holding Christ’s body without life after he has been removed from the cross. The Virgin is standing her right hand as if she was begging and her other hand is placed in the Christ’s shoulder. Her face is expressing pain, that it’s the normal Baroque’s expression. Her clothes are polychrome with strong colors, like red and blue, while her face is polychrome with pastel colours and without brightness. This shows its reality. We can find some similarity with Juni’s models. The anatomy of the Christ’s is very detailed. We can see all his wounds and blood. While the Virgin is expressing her suffering, the Christ has a relaxed expression. The cloth folds are also very detailed in both sculptures.
Baroque sculptures were usually about religious themes for altarpieces or processional floats made with polychrome wood. All the images were realistic and dramatic because we can find wounds, blood and expressions of pain and suffering. As we have read before, all these characteristics agree with the Piety.
The author, Gregorio Fernández although he worked in Valladolid, he was born in Lugo. He became one of the best models of the Castilian school that was one of the artistic nucleus of religious sculpture of the 17th century. Later, in the 2º part of the 18th century, Salzillo would be inspired by Gregorio Fernández. Other sculptures he made were ‘Christ at the Column’, ‘Cristo de la Luz’ and ‘Inmaculada Concepción’.
Portrait of Gregorio Fernández.