Today Lola Mora’s public sculptures grace prominent sites of Buenos Aires and other major places of Argentina. She is widely considered to be the first woman from Argentina, if not the first South American, to receive global recognition for her sculptures. However, this did not happen during her lifetime.
Lola Mora was born on November 17, 1866 in in Trancas, province of Tucumán as Dolores Candelaria Mora Vega de Hernández. She excelled in studies in her provincial school. Boosted by a scholarship received from Argentinean government she made a journey to Italy in her twenties. It is needless to say renaissance art left a deep impression on her mind as much as the sculptures of Auguste Rodin. A close study of her sculptural pieces reveals these influences unmistakably.
In spite of having numerous opportunities in Europe to study and advance her career as a sculptor she chose to return to Argentina where she devoted time doing what she loved most, creating pieces of art. Her public sculptures though sent a shockwave across the traditionalists of the country. The public were unaccustomed to the nude statues, often considered carrying the very essence of aestheticism and the skills of the artist in Europe, which made the matters worse. Her political allegiance also caused a stir.
As a result of all these wild rumours started flying about Lola Mora, her relationships and even her sexuality. She died on June 7 of 1936 in relative anonymity and abject poverty if not bitter with the kind of hostility she endured as an artist. Besides being a sculptor, Lola Mora also created a niche for herself as an inventor holding a number of patents which included systems for mining and filming using a column of vapour. Truly said Jean Cocteau when he claimed,
When a work appears to be ahead of its time, it is only the time that is behind the work.