Alonso Berruguete, Reinassance Sculptor - Page 22



In the same period that Fancelli was starting work on the
Avila tomb, the city’s bishop, Alonso Carrillo de Albornoz,
commissioned a local sculptor to produce his own tomb in
Toledo Cathedral. This sculptor was Vasco de la Zarza (d. 1524)
who had previously produced the Italianate frame for the
retable on the high altar of Avila Cathedral.46 His tomb for the
bishop, carved in alabaster and set into the wall in the chapel
of San Ildefonso, was clearly inspired by Fancelli’s recently
competed monument for Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, but the
decorative scheme – every surface covered in gilded Plateresque
candilieri – was completely different to the restrained, classical
aesthetic adopted by Fancelli. The contrast highlights the
different use of materials in this period by sculptors who had
worked in Italy and those trained in Spain: the former preferred
marble which was never polychromed; the latter – and perhaps
most Spanish patrons – alabaster and stone which were often
painted, partly or fully. There is no polychromy on Zarza’s next
major commission, the monument to the long-deceased bishop
and scholar Alonso de Madrigal (1410-1455) (fig. 13), but its
ornate decorations emulate the gilded reliefs on his tomb for
Carillo de Albornoz as well as on that of Cardinal Mendoza in
Toledo to which he is thought to have contributed.
Domenico Fancelli’s design for the tomb in Avila appears to
have been very well-received, forming the basis for several more
tombs in Castile over the following decades. The young prince’s
monument was soon followed by the similar tomb of Isabella and
Ferdinand in the Capilla Real in Granada (fig. 14). Returning to
Fig. 13. Vasco de la Zarza, Tomb of Alonso de Madrigal,
alabaster, Avila Cathedral.
Italy to source and carve the marble, Fancelli made it larger and
higher, adding Saints James and George (patron saints of Spain), the
Fathers of the Church, eight Apostles and the Baptism and Resurrection.
The tomb was probably completed by 1517 as on 26 March of
that year the sculptor drafted a new will before returning with it to
Spain.47 This was to be Fancelli’s final voyage. He was contracted
in the following year to make the tomb of Cardinal Francisco
Jiménez de Cisneros (for Alcala de Henares) as well as that of
Joanna the Mad and Philip the Fair for the Capilla Real; his death
in 1519 prevented their completion.
Fig. 12. Domenico Fancelli, Tomb of Prince Juan, marble, Monastic Church of Santo Tomás, Avila.
Fig. 14. Domenico Fanceilli, Tomb
of the Catholic Monarchs, marble,
Capilla Real, Granada.
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