Diego Siloe

By: Caroline Brodeur


Diego Siloe was born in 1495 in Burgos, Spain. He died on October 22, 1563 in Granada, Spain. Siloe spent most of his life in Spain and Italy studying architecture and sculpture. Diego's father, Gil de Siloe, was also an architect and taught him different techniques to help him. Siloe studied sculpture in Florence and also learned Italian Renaissance style in Naples. In 1519, Diego Siloe built the Golden Staircase in the Burgos Cathedral. He became very successful and worked with many architects including Bartolomé Ordónez and Juan de Salas in 1527. In 1528, Siloe moved to Granada, Spain and worked with Bigarny on the creation of an alter piece for a chapel in Condestable. Finally, in 1536, Siloe built his most famous and well-known piece of architecture known as the Granada Chapel.


Diego Siloe created many pieces of architecture and sculpture. He was influenced by two other Renaissance people, Michaelangelo and Donetello. He was known for his work done in many chapels/cathedrals and his attention to detail. Some of the places he worked on are the Burgos Cathedral, Condenstable Chapel, and Granada Chapel. Most, if not all of his work was done on buildings so it could not be bought, just enjoyed.

Favorite Piece: Cathedral of Granada

The Cathedral of Granada was started by an architect named Enrique Egas the Younger. Diego Siloe took over as head architect in 1536 until the time he died in 1563. His design and ideas were incorporated almost everywhere on and in the cathedral. The cathedral was dedicated to Our Lady of Incarnation and was considered the finest of all plateresque (16th century spanish architecture characterized by lavish ornament) buildings. It combined Renaissance and Gothic architecture.

There were no new techniques used in the making of the cathedral but the detail and color in it is amazing. I love how throughout the whole cathedral it is gold and white making it look rich and cheerful. Everywhere you look there is something that you didn't observe before because there is so much detail to look at. This is why I like this cathedral so much and chose it as my favorite.


The two -isms that best describe Diego Siloe are humanism and secularism. This is because even when he was sculpting on chapels, he never sculpted religious things. He did many sculptures of people and how they look and he also did people on chapels but they were never Gods. I also believe these are the two -isms that best describe the Cathedral of Granada. Siloe could have sculpted many things about the Gods and religious items and put them on the chapel but decided not to.

Bibliography & Locations

Location of Work:

Most of Siloe's work can be found on buildings and chapels near Spain and Italy. He was an architect so you cannot buy his work, only visit and see it.


"SILOE, de, Spanish family of sculptors/architects." SILOE, de, Spanish family of sculptors/architects. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. <http://www.wga.hu/html_m/s/siloe/index.html>.

"Diego de Siloe (Spanish artist)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/544646/Diego-de-Siloe>.


AR: Enrique Egas the Younger Diego de Siloe Juan de Maeda Juan de Orea Asensio de Maeda Alonso Cano
TI: Cathedral of Granada
TI: detail of the north transept showing Faith and Justice above the Portal of Forgiveness
DT: 1536
AA: ARTstor
CN: SCALA_ARCHIVES_10310474781
UR: http://library.artstor.org/library/secure/ViewImages?id=4iFCeTg4NCciJy8laCt2KngqXXgv

TI: San Jeronimo Monastery (Monasterio de San Jeronimo)
DT: Built in the first half of the 16th century.
AA: ARTstor
UR: http://library.artstor.org/library/secure/ViewImages?id=8CNaaSQwKSw0NzU8dSUURXorXHwvd1FwcA%3D%3D