Alonso Berruguete_Reinassance Sculptor - Page 63

Fig. 57.
Donatello, Cantoria,
marble, Museo
dell’Opera del
Duomo, Florence.
The attribution of this as-yet unpublished work to the great
had not yet developed the elongated proportions that would
sculptor of the Spanish Renaissance, Alonso Berruguete is based
characterize his works, one already notices the indolent and
on a comparative study with the artist’s documented works. Both
expressive posture of the figure in the arrangement of the legs
the infantile figures and the ornamental decoration inspired
and crossing of the arms.2 In addition, on the coat of arms
by antique models were constants within his oeuvre. The Putti
of Carlos V (whom the Chancellor Selvagio served,) there are
presented here were inspired by Italian works such as Donatello’s
grotesques and lyres that strongly recall those that appear on the
Cantoria, now in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo in Florence,
Putti published here. Furthermore, Jusepe Martínez’s description
which were often copied (fig. 57). This iconographic repertory
of the figures of Virtues could also apply to the Putti: “[they are]
appears in Berruguete’s first documented sculpture, the sepulchre
made with such tenderness, corpulence and sweetness that it
of the Flemish chancellor, Jean le Sauvage (Juan Selvagio), who
is a marvel; ... if this style were in painting [Berruguete] could
died in Saragossa in 1518, and was entombed in the chapel of
compete with the great Titian.”3
Saint John the Baptist in the Real Monasterio de Santa Engracia.
Destroyed in 1808, the sepulchre is known today through a
Berruguete repeated the same infantile model throughout his
description by Jusepe Martínez who saw it in the mid-seventeenth
life, often with a distinguishing feature, a band of cloth around
century, and from a few fragments that are conserved in the
the waist or on top of it, which could also have been inspired by
Museo de Zaragoza, the most complete being an Angel holding a
Michelangelo,4 and that can be seen in one of his first paintings,
heraldic shield.1
the Virgin and Child in the Galleria degli Uffizi, dated to around
1510.5 In Spain, in the retable from la Mejorada which was
As has been noted, the Angel holding heraldic shield (see fig. 32)
commissioned in 1523, the infants appear in the relief scenes
reveals the influence of Michelangelo in its enveloping volume
of the Birth of the Virgin, the Nativity and the Epiphany, but what
and in the study of the nude figure. Although Berruguete
is most important in this context are the heads of cherubs with


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