Alonso Berruguete_Reinassance Sculptor - Page 8

Alonso Berruguete was one of the four “eagles” of art
according to the sixteenth-century Portuguese historian Francisco
de Holanda. Holanda tells us this in his Da pintura antiga (1548),
the Iberian equivalent to Giorgio Vasari’s better-known Vite de’
più eccellenti pittori, scultori, e architettori. Vasari himself referred to
Berruguete, talking about him alongside the greats of the Italian
Renaissance such as Bramante, Michelangelo and Leonardo da
Vinci. Berruguete has thus always been recognised as not only
a great Spanish artist, but a world-class figure. In this book we
present two works by him, representing very different aspects of
his art but each one exquisite and a rare find.
The first piece is a small sculpture of putti in alabaster, probably
deriving from an altarpiece or item of liturgical furniture such as
Berruguete’s magnificent Archbishop’s Chair in Toledo Cathedral.
The second is a larger Saint Sebastian in polychromed wood,
comparable to the work now on display in the Museo Nacional
de Escultura in Valladolid. We are very fortunate that Rosario
Coppel, a great scholar of Renaissance sculpture, has done studies
of both works for us as well as providing a chapter on Berruguete’s
oeuvre more generally. This is followed by a report on the
conservation of the Saint Sebastian commissioned by the European
foundation which bought the piece from Coll & Cortés in 2014.
Hans Westhoff and Matthias Brune give us a fascinating account
of the making of the piece and removal of later polychromy to
restore it to its original state.
The book opens with a chapter by Nicola Jennings on the
transition from Gothic to Renaissance in Spanish sculpture in
the early sixteenth century. Nicola’s interest in this period lies
particularly in the Northern European sculptor Gil de Siloe, and
she makes the case that it is with him that the great tradition of
Spanish polychrome sculpture starts, a tradition in which Alonso
Berruguete was one of the most important figures.
Jorge Coll and Nicolás Cortés


Powered by

Full screen Click to read
Paperturn flipbook system
Download as PDF
Shopping cart
Full screen
Exit full screen