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Dressed in coloured robes with tall pointed hoods, each of these statues represents a religious brotherhood in Seville, Spain. From Palm Sunday until Easter Sunday, these brotherhoods process through the streets following large statues showing the events of Holy Week including the Last Supper and the crucifixion. The hoods are worn to show that the penitent, performing penance for their sins, is only known to God and no-one else. It is thought that the statue was made for the tourist market in Spain and was purchased by Captain Johnston-Saint, one of Henry Wellcome’s collecting agents, in 1933. It is shown here with three similar examples (A631422, A633739, A633740).

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Glossary: statue

A sculpture in the round representing human or animal figures or small figure groups; a statuette is a smaller sculpture.

Glossary: heresy

An opposite view to the established or commonly held belief of a religion.