Alonso Berruguete, Reinassance Sculptor - Page 68

Fig. 43. Attributed to
Alonso Berruguete,
Two reclining infants,
Instituto Gómez
Moreno, Fundación
Rodríguez Acosta,
This ornamental detail at the center of the base and related to the
was the raison-d’être for this masterful work that encapsulates a
horn-like instruments played by the Putti, suggests their possible
well-planned iconographic programme, perfectly-defined classical
provenance from a tomb. Nevertheless, there is no documentary
models, and a great technical facility for carving in alabaster.
evidence of any other alabaster funerary monument by
Berruguete besides the tomb of Chancellor Selvagio. The Putti
could have formed part of that monument although they are not
mentioned in the description by Jusepe Martínez; on the other
hand, that description was perhaps not so exhaustive as to cite
note s
every element. The comparison between this work and the Angel
holding a heraldic shield, itself a fragment, provides little information
J. Martínez, Discursos practicables…, 1675, in F. J. Sánchez Cantón, Fuentes, III, pp.
about the figure although the decorative motifs on the shield are
17-84; Morte García publishes documents from the Archivo Histórico de Protocolos
closely related to those of the Putti. These are the grotesques with
de Zaragoza. In addition to the alabaster sepulchre, Berruguete made a retable with
paintings in the same chapel. See C. Morte García, “Carlos I y los artistas de corte en
foliage which are of similar shape to those on the altar of the
Putti (see fig. 32).
Zaragoza: Fancelli, Berruguete, Bigarny,” Archivo Español de Arte, 255, 1991, pp. 317-335.
M. Arias Martínez, Alonso Berruguete. Prometeo, español (Palencia: Diputación Provincial),
2011, pp. 73-75, fig. 31.
Secondly, the style as much as the technique situate the Putti in the
Martínez, Discursos practicables, p. 70.
M. J. Redondo Cantera, “Alonso Berruguete, “Pintor del Rey”, in Alonso Berruguete: su
first phase of Berruguete’s work in Spain, when the retables from
obra y su influencia, Actas del Curso de la Universidad Casado del Alisal, celebrado en Paredes de
Mejorada in Olmedo and San Benito in Valladolid were made.
Nava, los días 10 a 12 de noviembre de 2011, ed. (Palencia: Diputación de Palencia, 2013),
In these we see very classical forms that have not yet developed
pp. 55-63.
the musculature, movement and exaggerated attitudes that appear
later, as in the enclosure of the Toledo choir and in the sepulchre
of Cardinal Tavera.
Finally, there is no reason to rule out the possibility that Alonso
Berruguete made these works as models to present to his patrons
with the aim of securing commissions. In order to become more
well-known, the artist had to present both drawings or small
sculptures, in the round or in relief, and in alabaster or wood,
depending on which material had been chosen.10 Perhaps this
Norma e Capriccio, Spagnoli in Italia agli esordi della “maniera moderna,” exhibition
catalogue, (Florence: Galleria degli Uffizi, 2013), pp. 196-197, nº 1.1.
Museo Nacional Colegio de San Gregorio, M. Bolaños Atienza, ed. (Madrid: Ministerio de
Educación, Cultura y Deporte), pp. 96-99; Arias Martínez, Alonso Berruguete, pp. 83-91, fig. 40.
Arias Martínez, Alonso Berruguete, pp. 99-116.
M. Arias Martínez, “Un llanto sobre Cristo muerto de Alonso Berruguete,” Ars
Magazine, 27, July-September, 2015, pp. 62-73.
9 M. Sánchez-Mesa & D. Martín, in Instituto Gómez-Moreno de la Fundación Rodríguez
Acosta, Granada, 1992, p. 178, nº 139.
10 This is specified in the inventory of the workshop of Juan de Juni in Medina de
Rioseco, 1577, published by J. Martí Monsó, Estudios histórico-artísticos relativos
principalmente a Valladolid, Valladolid, 1901. p. 483; J. M. Parrado, Talleres escultóricos
del siglo XVI en Castilla y León. Arte como idea. Arte como empresa comercial (Valladolid:
Universidad de Valladolid, 2002), pp. 76-77.

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