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Pedro de Mena y Medrano. A history of Málaga's commemorative plaques

A renowned sculptor who lived and died on Afligidos Street, where we can see a plaque and bust in his honour

Pedro de Mena y Medrano. Born in Granada in August 1628 and passed away in Málaga on 13 October 1688. Upon his death, he wished to be buried at the foot of the Cistercian Abbey of Santa Ana, so the faithful would step on his grave as they entered. This Cistercian Convent now houses the Royal Brotherhood of Our Father Jesus of the Holy Sepulchre. The commemorative plaque is located on a small street, more of an alleyway really, as it leads nowhere, it's called Afligidos Street and it's where the great sculptor Pedro de Mena y Medrano lived and died. Today, the house has been converted into the Revello de Toro Museum, open for visitation from Monday to Friday 10:00 to 13:00 and in the afternoon from 18:00 to 20:30, and on Saturdays from 10:00 to 13:00.

Pedro de Mena y Medrano mainly focused on creating religious imagery, following in the footsteps of his father, Alonso de Mena, from whom he inherited a workshop in Granada. Additionally, he had another workshop established in Málaga for thirty years, where he moved to work on one of his most recognised pieces, the choir stalls of Málaga Cathedral, one of the jewels of European Baroque. In Málaga, he executed a large number of commissions, especially for religious orders.

His works are distinguished by: the elongated faces and features of his figures, the meticulously carved robes with extremely thin outlines, the use of polychrome (strong contrasting colours) and realism in the depictions of flesh, which is evident, especially in his "Penitent Magdalene", "Dolorosa" and "Ecce Homo". Due to the significant impact of the image of Saint Francis of Assisi he created for the Primatial Cathedral of Toledo and thanks to the intervention of Cardinal Moscoso y Sandoval, a former acquaintance of his father, he was appointed the chief architect of the same. On the door of the house where he lived, we can see a plaque and a bust commemorating Don Pedro de Mena y Medrano's time in Málaga.

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