Alonso Berruguete, Reinassance Sculptor - Page 14



Thanks to Lenaghan, it is now clear that the tombs were in
fact produced over some fifteen years, by at least two different
workshops, at a time when the ideals of Classical Antiquity were
just beginning to arrive in Spain. It was in the same period that the
first documented tomb produced entirely by an Italian Renaissance
sculptor appeared in Castile,5 and that painters such as Fernando
Llanos (fl. 1505-1525) and Fernando Yáñez de la Almedina
(fl. 1505-1537) returned from Florence to the Kingdom of Aragon,
bringing with them knowledge of the works of Leonardo da Vinci and
Michelangelo which would eventually spread across the peninsula.6
The earliest Castilian sculptural works to refer to Italian
Renaissance imagery are the stone reliefs on the retrochoir at
Burgos Cathedral. The first of them, the Carrying of the Cross, was
commissioned in 1498 (fig. 3). Behind the spectators watching
Fig. 3. Felipe Bigarny,
Christ on the way to Golgotha is a Roman archway framed by
Carrying of the Cross,
pilasters carved with candelieri motifs and the labours of Hercules,
stone, retrochoir,
Burgos Cathedral.
Corinthian capitals and an entablature depicting putti. The
muscular forms of the figures in the forefront are revealed by
Fig. 4. Anonymous
clinging drapery, again reminiscent of Italian models. The main
stone-carver, Adoration
composition, however, is based on those of Northern European
of the Magi, marble,
artists such as Martin Schongauer. The wooded background
Certosa de Pavia.
rising above it, with little regard for one-point perspective, is
straight out of a southern Netherlandish carved altarpiece. The
reliefs were carved by Felipe Bigarny (ca. 1475-1542) who had
just arrived from Langres near Dijon, the capital of the former
Duchy of Burgundy. Where he picked up his knowledge of
Renaissance models is unclear. Signing the Burgos contract in
calligraphic handwriting as Philipus Biguerny, he was clearly
educated, and he claimed later to have visited Rome.7 However,
Isabel del Río de la Hoz believes that the source of the Italianate
Fig. 1. Tomb of Gutierre
figures and decorative scheme in Bigarny’s Carrying of the Cross is
to come from the Salamanca altarpiece (fig. 5).11 Although the
de la Cueva, alabaster,
the Certosa de Pavia. She compares his work to that of sculptors
Evangelists are not amongst the figures listed in the 1503 contract
the Hispanic Society
from this area whose style also straddled Late Gothic and Early
with “Felipe de Borgonia, ymaginario, vecino de Burgos,” they
of America Sculpture
Gallery, (looking north),
New York.
Fig. 2 Tomb of Mencía
would complement the Assumption, Calvary and Doctors of the Church
which are specified, and explain the inclusion of a large number
Netherlands itself.9
of books.12 Despite the scallop shells carved into some of the
carrels, these carvings, with their bulky draperies and profusion
Bigarny’s Burgos reliefs were widely admired throughout Castile,
of anecdotal detail, are direct descendants of the figures in many
alabaster, the Hispanic
and he was soon called to Toledo Cathedral to produce scenes
Late Gothic altarpieces. They are in this way different to the
Society of America
carved from wood for its new altarpiece, as well as to Salamanca to
Michelangelesque saints carved later by Alonso Berruguete, but
Sculpture Gallery
produce a further fifteen carvings for the retable in the University
both are links in the tradition of Spanish polychromed wood
(looking south),
chapel. The set of carved and polychromed wood Evangelists
statuary which culminated in the Baroque and survives in Holy
New York.
now in the Museo Nacional de Escultura in Valladolid is thought
Week processions to this day.
Enríquez de Toledo,
12
Renaissance (fig. 4). Furthermore, as she reminds us, there was
considerable knowledge of Italian art even within the Burgundian
8
10
13





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