Colnaghi Collections_Vol 01 - Page 22

Fig. 8. Alonso Berruguete,
Saint Sebastian, ca. 1550,
polychromed wood with
partial gilding, 164 x 41 x
51 cm, Colnaghi.
Alonso Berruguete, one of the most talented and creative
sixteenth-century Spanish artists to work in this medium, spent
an extended period of time in Italy, where he became familiar
not only with ancient Roman sculptural models, but also with
the work of modern Italian masters, especially Donatello,
Leonardo, and Michelangelo.13 His Saint Sebastian (fig. 8), with
its expressive twisting torso, betrays a personal experience
of Buonarroti’s Ignudi and Dying Slave, as well the Hellenistic
sculptural group of Laocoön and his Sons excavated in Rome in
1506 (fig. 9). Berruguete’s newly discovered relief busts of Soldiers
(ca. 1525-1550, cat. no. 7), possibly portraying Saint Marino and
Saint Asterio and inspired by Roman medallions and sarcophagi,
offer an informative example of the modern emulation of the
ancients. Nevertheless, his response to the Renaissance revival
of Antiquity was always expressed in a Spanish idiom.
Fig. 7. Francisco de Zurbarán, The Crucified Christ with a Painter, ca. 1650, oil on canvas, 108 x 84 cm, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado.
Fig. 9. Laocoön and His Sons, ca. 27 BC-68 AD, marble, 208 x 163 x 112 cm,
Vatican City, Vatican Museums, Museo Pio-Clementino.


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