Alonso Berruguete

16th century Spanish sculpter


Born: 1487 in Palencia, Spain (Paredes de Nava)

Alonso was educated in painting at a young age by his father and well-known painter, Pedro Berruguete. Over a decade after his father passed away, Alonso began to work under the Italian artist Michelangelo who taught him how to sculpt. In fact, Alonso was referred to as the Michelangelo of Spain.

Alonso's lifestyle involved traveling from patron to patron creating artwork; however, he still had time to get married and have two sons. He spent most of his life in Italy (specifically Florence and Rome) where he studied sculpture under Michelangelo. Alonso also worked for King Charles V of Spain in 1517 and 1518, where he was appointed to the position of court painter.

Art: Berruguete enjoyed painting, sculpting, drawing, and carving pieces of art. He was known for not excepting traditional ideas of sculpting and painting and instead created emotional pieces that reflected passion, form, genius and religion. Some famous pieces he created were: "Salome," "Left Choir Stall" in Toledo Cathedral, "Seated Man with Head Bent," "Mary with Child," and "Sacrifice of Isaac."

Patrons: King Charles V of Spain, Michelangelo and Juan de Juni.

Art work

Choir stall- Detail

From the years 1539 to 1543 Alonso Berruguete carved the Choir Stall in Toledo, Spain. The wood carving was significant because it had been carried out with scrupulous attention to detail. The technique Alonso used was mannerism. (Mannerism is a technique that uses the effects of scale, lighting, and perspective, and often the use of bright colors.) I find the piece interesting because of the unique detail and because it is part of a structure (not a stand-alone piece).

Similar to the majority of Alonso's creations, the wood carving expressed non-secularism because it showed that he valued religion.