Dolores Mora Vega de Hernández – better known as Lola Mora – was born on November 17, 1866, at El Tala, a tiny village in Salta Province very close to the Tucumán border. She completed her studies in Italy and took to working in marble, a medium used for much of her prolific oeuvre of statues and monuments. In addition to works in various towns and cities around the country, she is best known for her invaluable contribution to the Monumento a la Bandera in Rosario; the magnificent Nereidas fountain adorning the Costanera Sur in Buenos Aires; and the voluptuous set of allegorical figures – Peace, Progress, Justice, Freedom and Labour – intended for the National Congress building but never placed there, as they were considered too shocking. Instead the five naked forms can be admired at the Casa de Gobierno in Jujuy. Hailed as the country’s foremost sculptress, Lola had a tragic life, losing her parents at an early age, enduring a turbulent marriage and facing social rejection owing to her bohemian lifestyle and her predilection for portraying shapely female forms (leading to comparisons with Camille Claudel). Towards the end of her life, she suffered from ill health and psychological problems. She died in poverty, on June 7, 1936, shortly after reconciliation with her husband after seventeen years of estrangement and only a few months after the national government agreed to grant her a pension.

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