This striking figure of Saint Francis of Assisi steps toward the viewer with one hand pressed to his chest and the other extended to hold a now-absent cross, the focus of his meditative gaze. The seams and weave of his coarse wool habit—worn by the monks of the Franciscan order in obedience to their vow of poverty—are meticulously rendered, and a real knotted cord around his waist functions as the cincture that gathers the robe’s folds. With glass balls for the eyes, real hair for the eyelashes, and bone for the teeth, the sculpture shows off the new levels of hyperrealism that Spanish artists were able to achieve in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

From Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts 89 (2015)
Artist attributed to José de Mora, Spanish, 1642-1724
  • Saint Francis of Assisi
Date between 1680 and 1700
Medium polychrome coniferous wood, glass, cord, hair
Dimensions Overall: 32 11/16 × 15 3/4 × 11 inches (83 × 40 × 27.9 cm)
Mount: 7 3/4 × 19 × 15 inches(19.7 × 48.3 × 38.1 cm)
Credit Line Museum Purchase, Ernest & Rosemarie Kanzler Foundation Fund
Accession Number 2014.19
Department European Sculpture and Dec Arts
On View European: Medieval and Renaissance W220, Level 2 (see map)
Marquesa de Colomera, Palacio de Colomera en la Plaza de las Tendillas (Córdoba, Spain).
Condesa de Cabra (Córdoba, Spain).
(Coll & Cortés Ltd. Fine Arts, London, England;
2014-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Bulletin of the DIA: Notable Acquisitions, 2000–2015 89, no. 1/4 (2015): p. 88 (ill.).

Darr, Alan Phipps, Yao-Fen You, and Megan Reddicks. “Recent Acquisitions (2007–15) of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Detroit Institute of Arts.” The Burlington Magazine 158 (June 2016): 501–512, p. 504 (ill.).