Juan de Mesa_Master of Passion - Page 16

The marble tomb of Pedro Enriquez in the charterhouse of
As Alfonso Rodríguez y Gutiérrez de Ceballos underlines, imagery
Santa María de las Cuevas – brought back from Genoa in 1520
was considered a highly effective medium for conveying religious
by Enriquez’s son – was another influential Italian Renaissance
ideas to all sectors of the population.7 Torrigiano’s terracotta Saint
work.6 Set in a niche with candelieri-covered Corinthian
Jerome (160 cm)(fig. 6) – modelled on the sinewy body of a humble
columns, a rounded arch, putti, and allegorical figures such
and elderly servant – is closer, for example, to the expressive
as Hypnos and Thanatos, its hefty Christ on the Cross recalls
figures carved by Donatello and Tilman Riemenschneider than to
Dürer’s Italianate figure of 1511 rather than the more pitiful
the idealized classicism of Michelangelo. This figure’s continuing
figures created by Schongauer (figs. 4 & 5). The Spanish
importance for several generations of artists is clear from
Renaissance was a Christian one, with most commissions coming
Martínez Montañés’s carved and polychromed wood Saint Jerome
from the church, and its imagery continued in large part to be
(160 cm) in the main altarpiece at the monastery of San Isidoro
inspired by the austere pietism of northern Europe.
del Campo some eighty-five years later (fig. 7).
Fig. 7 Juan Martínez Montañés, Saint Jerome, 1611,
polychromed wood, Santiponce, San Isidoro del Campo.
Torrigiano like Mercadante and the French sculptor Miguel
Perrin used terracotta, but soon the dominant mode in Seville
was again Hispano-Flemish, and sculpture was made largely from
wood. José Roda Peña notes that Sevillian sculptors rejected the
use of marble and bronze, preferring the immediacy offered by
pine, walnut, and cedar embellished with encarnaduras (flesh tones)
and rich estofados (decoration imitating textiles).8 The sculptor
Jorge Fernández Alemán, working with his better known brother,
the painter Alejo – born of a northern European father and
Spanish mother – were in constant demand.9 Jorge’s emaciated
Fig. 5 Albrecht Dürer, Crucifixion, 1511, engraving,
and polychromed Señor de la Amargura, produced in 1521, looks
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
once again to Schongauer, its pathos heightened by deathly pale
skin shaded with large areas of grey. Xavier Bray says of later
Fig. 4 Antonio Aprile and Pace Gagini, Tomb of Pedro Enriquéz (detail),
Fig. 6 Pietro Torrigiano, Saint Jerome Penitent, 1525, polychromed terracotta,
works in this tradition that the hyper-realistic quality offered by
1525, marble, Seville, charterhouse of Santa María de las Cuevas.
Seville, Museo de Bellas Artes.
polychromed wood “made the sacred truly palpable.”10


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