The Cortés Ladies

Created in 1575 by Diego de Pesquera (1530-1587), the two praying sculptures depict Doña Juana de Zúñiga and Catalina Cortés, respectively the second wife and one of the daughters of Hernán Cortés. Both figures are at life size, kneeling in prayer over cushions and modestly covered in veils. They are located today in the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, housed at the Monastery of La Cartuja in Seville and part of the heritage under the Fundación Casa Ducal de Medinaceli.

Following the initiative of Juan Manuel Albendea, Director of Fundación Casa Ducal de Medinaceli, Factum Foundation recorded the two sculptures in high resolution and produced two exact facsimiles that were donated to the Convent of Madre de Dios in Seville on March 19th, 2024. The facsimiles will now be on permanent display alongside the sepulchres of Doña Juana and Catalina, as originally intended when the originals were created.

Imran Khan recording the original sculptures © Casilda Ybarra | Factum Foundation

After recording the two sculptures, the high-resolution data was processed into 3D models that will belong to the Fundación Casa Ducal de Medinaceli to monitor the preservation of the original sculptures. Factum Foundation 3D printed the digital models in resin before moulding and casting the two figures in gesso, hand-finished to resemble the original marble.

Jacinto de Manuel working on the details © Oak Taylor-Smith | Factum Foundation

The two finished facsimiles in Factum Foundation’s workshop © Oak Taylor-Smith | Factum Foundation

The two facsimiles on display in the Convent Convent Of Madre De Dios in Seville © Adam Lowe | Factum Foundation