The Project Gutenberg eBook of Sculpture in Spain

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: Sculpture in Spain

Author: Albert Frederick Calvert

Release date: December 12, 2019 [eBook #60898]
Most recently updated: January 24, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Chuck Greif and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from images available at The Internet Archive)


[Image of the book's cover unavailable.]


No attempt has been made to correct the accents or spellings of Spanish names and places as they appeared in the original book.

List of Illustrations
(In certain versions of this etext [in certain browsers] clicking on the image will bring up a larger version.)

(etext transcriber's note)




El Greco
The Prado
The Escorial
Sculpture in Spain
Valencia and Murcia
Royal Palaces of Spain
Spanish Arms and Armour
Leon, Burgos and Salamanca
Catalonia and Balearic Islands
Valladolid, Oviedo, Segovia,
    Zamora, Avila and Zaragoza



:: BY   ALBERT   F.   CALVERT ::



Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson & Co.
At the Ballantyne Press, Edinburgh


Early Sculpture belonging to the Native Iberian, Latin, Byzantine, and Visigothic Periods14
The Churches of the Romanesque and Early Gothic Periods25
The Sculptured Pieces and Tombs of the Romanesque and Early Gothic Periods37
The Altar-screens or Retablos of the Romanesque and Gothic Periods50
The Renaissance, and the Influence of Michael Angelo on the Spanish Sculptors70
The Renaissance, and the Influence of Michael Angelo (continued)—The Schools of Valladolid and Madrid97
The School of Andalusia—Juan Martinez Montañés—Seville and its Sculptors117
The Disciples of Montañés in Seville142
The School of Granada and Alonso Cano—The Decline of Sculpture—Francisco Zarcello151



Visigoth Crowns found near Toledo1
Byzantine Crucifix and the Virgin in the Gothic Style. Provincial Museum of San Marcos, Leon2
Wooden Crucifix with which the Troops of the Cid were harangued. The smaller Crucifix the Cid carried beneath his Armour. Salamanca Cathedral3
Byzantine Chest. Toledo Cathedral4
Roman Statue found in the Ruins of Salonica. Provincial Museum, Burgos5
El Santo Cristo, Burgos Cathedral6
Façade of the Cathedral, Santiago de Compostella7
Portico of La Gloria, Santiago de Compostella Cathedral8
Detail of Carvings of the Portico of La Gloria, Santiago de Compostella9
Colegiata de San Isidoro, Leon10
Spandril of Gate of Pardon in the College of San Isidoro, Leon11
Two Statues in the Archæological Museum, Leon12
San Vicente, Avila13
Basilica of San Vicente, Avila, Principal West Entrance14
Zamora Cathedral15
Cloisters of San Pablo del Campo, Barcelona16
Cloisters of the Monastery of Las Huelgas, Burgos17
Tarragona Cathedral18
Portal, Tarragona Cathedral19
Burgos Cathedral20
{viii} Toledo Cathedral21
Leon Cathedral22
Detail of the Choir Stalls, Leon Cathedral23
Detail of the Choir Stalls, Leon Cathedral24
St. Mary Magdalene and Santo Domingo (Choir Stalls), Leon Cathedral25
San Celedonio and San Esteban (Choir Stalls), Leon Cathedral26
Noah, and Adam and Eve (Choir Stalls), Leon Cathedral27
Samson (Choir Stalls), Leon Cathedral28
Esau (Choir Stalls), Leon Cathedral29
Detail of Portico, Santiago de Compostella30
San Francisco. San Marcos Museum, Leon31
Various Statues from the Cross Aisle, Leon Cathedral32
Our Lady del Foro and the Offerings of the Kings, Cloisters, Leon Cathedral33
A Sepulchre in the Convent of Las Huelgas, Burgos34
Sepulchres in the Old Cathedral, Salamanca35
Statues of the Portico, Tarragona Cathedral36
Puerta Alta de la Coroneria, Burgos Cathedral37
The Cloister Gate, Burgos Cathedral38
The Cloisters, Burgos Cathedral39
Detail of the Cloisters, Burgos Cathedral40
Detail of the Cloisters, Burgos Cathedral41
A Sepulchre, Las Huelgas, Burgos42
Sepulchre of Archbishop Maurice, the Founder of the Cathedral, Burgos43
Sepulchre of Archbishop Maurice, the Founder of the Cathedral, Burgos44
Sepulchre of the Infanta Doña Berenguela, Daughter of San Fernando, Monastery of Las Huelgas, Burgos45
Tomb of Jaime de Aragon, Tarragona Cathedral46
Sepulchre of Martin, First Bishop of Leon, Leon Cathedral47
Sepulchre of Don Ordoño II., Leon Cathedral48
{ix} Sepulchre of the Martyrs, Basilica de San Vicente, Avila49
Sepulchre of Archbishop Lopez de Luna, in the Church of La Seo, Zaragoza50
Our Lady la Mayor, Statue of Silver, Burgos Cathedral51
Statue of Our Lady de la Vega, Salamanca52
Statue of Our Lady de la Blanca, in the Principal Porch, Leon Cathedral53
St. Michael Slaying the Devil. Silver Statue by Juan de Arfé. Provincial Museum, Salamanca54
Diptych in the Camarin of Santa Teresa, Escorial55
Detail of the Altar-screen of the Capilla de Santiago, Toledo Cathedral56
Altar-screen in the Capilla de Santiago, Toledo Cathedral57
Chapel of Santiago, containing the Sepulchres of Don Alvaro de Luna and that of his Wife, Doña Juana, Toledo Cathedral58
Detail of the Altar-piece in the Capilla de la Trinidad, Toledo59
Altar-piece Carved in Wood, end of Fifteenth Century. Valladolid Museum60
Centre of a Wooden Altar-piece, end of Fifteenth Century. Valladolid Museum61
Chapel of St. Anne, Burgos Cathedral62
Details of the Altar-Piece in the Chapel of St. Anne, Burgos Cathedral63
Sepulchre of Don Juan II. and Doña Isabel, La Cartuja, Burgos64
Sepulchre of Don Juan II. and Doña Isabel, La Cartuja, Burgos65
Detail of the Sepulchre of Don Juan II. and Doña Isabel, La Cartuja, Burgos66
Sepulchre of Infante Don Alonso, son of Isabella I., La Cartuja, Burgos67
Sepulchre of Don Juan de Padella. Provincial Museum, Burgos68
High Altar, La Cartuja, Burgos69
{x} Detail of the High Altar, La Cartuja, Burgos70
Detail of the High Altar, La Cartuja, Burgos71
Choir Stalls, La Cartuja, Burgos72
High Altar, Santa Gadea del Cid, Burgos73
High Altar of the Church of Our Lady del Pilar, Zaragoza74
Bas-relief in the Altar-piece, Chapel Royal, Granada75
Detail of the Sepulchre of the Catholic Sovereigns, Royal Chapel, Granada76
Sepulchre of the Infante Juan, only Son of Ferdinand and Isabella, Church of Santo Tomás, Avila77
Carvings of the Principal Chapel, by Borgoña, Burgos Cathedral78
Back Part of the High Altar, Burgos Cathedral79
Tras-Sagrario, by Felipe de Borgoña, Burgos Cathedral80
Tras-Sagrario, by Felipe de Borgoña, Burgos Cathedral81
Upper Part of the Choir Stalls, Carved by Berruguete and Borgoña, Toledo Cathedral82
Upper Part of the Choir Stalls, Carved by Berruguete and Borgoña, Toledo Cathedral83
Upper Part of the Choir Stalls, Carved by Berruguete and Borgoña, Toledo Cathedral84
Upper Part of the Choir Stalls, Carved by Berruguete and Borgoña, Toledo Cathedral85
Upper Part of the Choir Stalls, Carved by Berruguete and Borgoña, Toledo Cathedral86
Upper Part of the Choir Stalls, Carved by Berruguete and Borgoña, Toledo Cathedral87
Upper Part of the Choir Stalls, Carved by Berruguete and Borgoña, Toledo Cathedral88
Details of the Choir Stalls: Reconquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella, Toledo Cathedral89
Detail of the Choir Stalls: Reconquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella, Toledo Cathedral90
Detail of the Choir Stalls: Reconquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella, Toledo Cathedral91
{xi} Detail of the Choir Stalls: Reconquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella, Toledo Cathedral92
Detail of the Choir Stalls: Reconquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella, Toledo Cathedral93
Detail of the Choir Stalls: Reconquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella, Toledo Cathedral94
Detail of the Choir Stalls: Reconquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella, Toledo Cathedral95
Detail of the Choir Stalls: Reconquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella, Toledo Cathedral96
Detail of the Choir Stalls: Reconquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella, Toledo Cathedral97
Detail of the Choir Stalls: Reconquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella, Toledo Cathedral98
Detail of the High Altar, Chapel of the “Condestable,” Burgos Cathedral99
Altar-piece, by F. de Borgoña, in the Royal Chapel, Granada100
Detail of Altar-screen, Granada: King Ferdinand the Catholic101
Detail of Altar-screen, Granada: Queen Isabel the Catholic102
Boabdil giving up the Keys of Granada to the Catholic Sovereigns. Fragment of the Altar-piece in the Royal Chapel, Granada103
Choir Stalls of San Benito, Valladolid104
Back of a Choir Stall. Valladolid Museum105
Fragments of Choir Stalls. Valladolid Museum106
Several Fragments of Choir Stalls. Valladolid Museum107
Fragments of Choir Stalls, by Andrés de Najera. Valladolid Museum108
Stalls of San Benito, by Andrés de Najera, Valladolid109
Stalls of San Benito, by Andrés de Najera, Valladolid110
Stalls of San Benito, by Andrés de Najera, Valladolid111
Wooden Panels, Murcia Cathedral112
Abraham’s Sacrifice and St. Sebastian, by Berruguete. Valladolid Museum113
{xii} Sepulchre of Archbishop Tavera, by Alonso Berruguete, Hospital de Afuera, Toledo114
Sepulchre, by Berruguete, San Jeronimo, Granada115
Statue of St. Secundus, by Berruguete, Church of San Secundo, Avila116
San Benito. Valladolid Museum117
The Transept, Cathedral of La Seo, Zaragoza118
Sepulchre of the Marques de Villena and Retablo in the Monastery del Parral, Segovia119
Custodia, by Juan Arfé, Avila Cathedral120
Statue of Don Cristobal de Rojas y Sandoval, Church of San Pedro de Lerma, Burgos121
Detail of the Statue122
St. Jerome, by Caspar de Becerra, Burgos Cathedral123
Altar-screen, by Juan de Juni, Segovia Cathedral124
Christ in the Tomb, by Juan de Juni. Valladolid Museum125
Pietà, by Hernandez. Valladolid Museum126
The Baptism of Our Lord, by Hernandez. Valladolid Museum127
St. Francis, by Hernandez. Valladolid Museum128
The Crucifixion, by Gregorio Hernandez, Chapel of the ex-monastic Church of “Conjo,” Santiago129
Our Lady of Sorrows, Church of “Conjo,” Santiago130
La Dolorosa, by Salvador Carmona, Salamanca Cathedral131
Flagellation of Christ, by Salvador Carmona, Salamanca Cathedral132
Head of St. Paul. Valladolid Museum133
High Altar, Seville Cathedral134
Oratory and Screen of Isabella la Catolica, Seville135
Puerta del Perdon, Seville Cathedral136
Virgin and Child, by P. Torrigiano. Seville Museum137
St. Jerome, by Torrigiano. Seville Museum138
Statue of Faith, Top of Giralda Tower, Seville139
St. Ignatius Loyola, by Montañés. University Chapel, Seville140
St. Francis Xavier, by Montañés. University Chapel, Seville141
{xiii} Our Lord Crucified, by Montañés. The Sacristy, Seville Cathedral142
The Immaculate Conception, by Montañés. University Chapel, Seville143
The Immaculate Conception, by Montañés, Seville Cathedral144
St. Bruno, by J. Montañés. Seville Museum145
Our Lady de las Cuevas and Child, by Montañés. Seville Museum146
St. Bruno, by Montañés, Cadiz Cathedral147
Justice, by Solis. Seville Museum148
The Conception of the Virgin, by Martinez, Seville Cathedral149
The Crucifixion, at Triana, Seville150
Our Lord, Sculpture in Wood, Hospital de la Caridad, Seville151
High Altar in the Chapel, Hospital de la Caridad, Seville152
Our Lady of Sorrows, by Luisa Roldan, Cadiz Cathedral153
Head of John the Baptist, Granada154
Head of John the Baptist, Granada155
Head of John the Baptist156
Statue of St. Bruno, in the Chartreuse de Miraflores, Burgos157
St. Bruno, by Alonso Cano, in the Cartuja, Granada158
Statue of the Magdalene, formerly in the Cartuja, Granada159
St. Francis, by Pedro de Mena, Toledo Cathedral160
The Last Supper, by Zarcello, Ermita de Jesus, Murcia161
St. Veronica, by Salcillo, Ermita de Jesus, Murcia162








The Spanish character has expressed itself in sculpture more forcibly than in painting. In no other country, perhaps, do we find a people whose native taste for carving in wood and stone is so deep-rooted, so essentially an outgrowth of the strong life of the race. To understand the art of Spain you must know her sculpture.

As far back as the prehistoric Iberian period we find traces of a vigorous school of sculpture in Spain, which, though based on Greek and Asiatic sources, yet attained a striking individuality of its own. Professor Pierre Paris of Bordeaux says of these prehistoric carvings that “the figures are simple and virile, while the women are distinguished by dignity of attitude and nobility of face, expressive of deep religious gravity.” The finest example—a supreme type of primitive{2} Iberian sculpture, very fascinating in its curious originality—is the Lady of Elche, the bust in the Louvre, which Pierre Paris, in agreement with Reinach, dates about 440 B.C. Of this wonderful work Pierre Paris writes: “In her enigmatic face, ideal and yet real, in her living eyes, on her voluptuous lips, on her passive and severe forehead, are summed up all the nobility and austerity, the promises and the reticences, the charm and the mystery of woman.... She is above all Spanish, not only by the mitre and the great wheels that frame her delicate face, but by the disturbing strangeness of her beauty. She is indeed more than Spanish: she is Spain itself, Iberia arising still radiant with youth from the tomb in which she has been buried for more than twenty centuries.”[A]

This is true.

Sculpture has always been the most genuinely Spanish of the arts. The Visigoths were attracted to sculpture; and though many of the credited examples they were supposed to have left cannot be accepted, there are a few Visigothic carvings,{3} which bear witness to this predominant expression of character.

Belonging to a later date we find a surprising wealth of carving in wood and stone scattered throughout Spain in the cathedrals, churches, cloisters, and palaces. There is no town in Spain which does not possess some sculptured works.

Spain has given to the world few great sculptors; none of her carvers stand on quite the high level of her most famous painters. Yet, if we except the great names of El Greco, Ribera, Velazquez, and Goya, her sculptors are at least equal in merit with her painters. Damian Forment, Berruguete, Gregorio Hernandez, Juan de Juni, Pedro Millan, Montañés, Alonso Cano, Roldan, Mena, as well as others, are worthy to take a high place in the temple of Spanish art. And a fact of even greater importance: they have impressed upon their work the national character in a far stronger degree than any of the contemporary painters. It is interesting to note that many of these sculptors were also painters; and, in all cases, their carvings are more distinctly Spanish than their paintings. Almost entirely sculpture escaped from the slough of neo-Italian imitation, which did so much to ruin painting in the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Spanish sculpture is finely realistic and{4} imaginative. Sometimes fantastic to extravagance in its naturalness, it is always vigorous, romantic, and religious in the highest degree.

How is it, then, that sculpture is the branch of the national art least known beyond the bounds of the country? Rare indeed are the writers who have made a study of Spanish sculpture. A few good articles on the subject have appeared in France and in Germany; in England none. Even in Spain a quite inadequate attention has been given to this most important branch of the national art. There are, it is true, several excellent monographs, such as the works of D. José Gestoso y Perez on Pedro Millan, and that of D. Manuel Serrano y Ortega on Montañés. Then there is the very interesting study by D. José Marti y Monso on the artists of Valladolid. But these writings were limited to one artist, or to the works of one province. Until recently there was no work treating of Spanish sculpture as a whole, except the Diccionario of Cean Bermudez, a book very excellent, but not free from error, and for the most part unimportant in its critical estimates. Like most Spanish writers, Bermudez praises work because it belongs to his own country, rather than because of its true artistic worth. It is well that this indifference is at an end. A critical{5} study of Spanish carvings, entitled La Statuaire Polychrome en Espagne, finely illustrated with beautiful examples of the best carvings in the Peninsula, has now been written by M. Marcel Dieulafoy. The book was published in Paris in 1908. We would take this opportunity of gratefully acknowledging the help we have gained from this excellent work.

But the question remains unanswered why the carvings of Spain have been treated with such a want of interest. To find the answer it will be necessary to consider briefly the circumstances which determined the special character of Spanish sculpture.

Almost without exception statuary was executed for the religious uses of the Catholic Church. Images were needed to increase the pious fervour of the populace; they were used as altar decorations in the churches; often they were carried in the religious processions; and many of them were credited with miracle-working powers. The one thing necessary for a Spanish statue was that it should be an exact imitation of life; the more realistic the illusion the greater was the power of the statue to fulfil the requirements of the Church.

It will readily be seen that marble—the substance most fitting for the artistic rendering of{6} form—would not comply with these demands. Thus in Spain the classic marble was discarded, while wood and plaster were employed in its place. These substances could be readily coloured, or even covered with canvas resembling stone, and then painted to counterfeit life. Thus out of the religious requirements—which in Spain, so much more than in any other country, decided the expression of art—was developed a natural employment of multi-colouring, whose principle was the diversity of the various materials and the use of the two arts of painting and sculpture in the same work.

This almost universal use of colour—a relic of very ancient art—has really decided the fate of Spanish sculpture. For some centuries public taste was firmly decided in condemning statue colourisation as “an offence against good taste.” It is held that the true purpose of sculpture is to depict form, and that painting an image in relief is barbarous and shows a want of culture, because the sculptor, attentive alone to the beauties of form, should observe the limits set by the material in which he has to work, and should resist the seductions of colour which belong to the painter. Coloured statues have even been compared with the wax figures displayed in shows.{7}

There is much to be said on both sides of the question. We shall not here try to answer it, for to do so would be to anticipate all that we hope to establish of the beauty of the polychrome statuary of Spain. Rather we would ask the reader to look now at the illustrations at the end of this volume. Great works are the only answer that can silence criticism.

Those who have condemned polychrome sculpture have, almost without exception, instanced its worst examples. This is absurd; it is like giving a judgment of painting by the pictures exhibited each year in the Royal Academy of London.

It must be remembered that polychrome statuary is a very ancient art; moreover, it is a perfectly natural and spontaneous development, growing out of the need for intensified expression. It was not an arbitrary practice adopted as “a trick of the trade.” This is important. Those who deny the use of colour to the sculptor have tried to prove that among the Greeks sculpture was anterior to painting, and that in the case of certain statues which we find coloured the painting was an injury added at a later date. This is entirely erroneous, as M. Marcel Dieulafoy proves by referring to the recent excavations made in Greece and Italy. The most{8} ancient of the statues carved by the Greeks were those on which pigments were used. Carved out of wood, which lent itself readily to encrustations of bronze, ivory, and precious stones, as well as of colour, the figures were enriched in this way to give them a closer relation to life. Such was the bas-relief at Olympia in the Treasury of the Megarians, which represents a combat between Herakles and Acheloss, where the figures are carved out of cedar-wood richly embellished with gold; or the group of the Dioscuri, attributed by Pausanias to Dépoinos and Skyllis, where again the figures were enriched with films of ebony and of ivory placed upon the wood.

When wood gave way to marble and bronze, sculptors still continued the use of encrustation; especially a paste of glass was used to form the eyes of the figures. Often we find a gilded or silver necklace added. Bronzers tinted their statues, and in this way bronze had the aspect of colour. Silver was largely used. A very interesting example is furnished by Silamin of Athens, who, wishing to represent Jocasta in her last hour, silvered the face so skilfully as to give it the pallor of death.

Of even greater interest is a small bas-relief in the St. Angelo Collection in the Museum of Naples.{9} It represents a maiden dressed in a double robe, the under one pale green, the outer one rose-coloured. She wears besides an upper garment of a darker colour and a white fichu bordered with red.

We find this custom of multi-colouring in the work of the greatest masters. We know that Phidias made use of gems and gold to heighten the beauty of his statues. Strabo wrote of his incomparable work in the Temple of Zeus at Olympia: “What adds greatly to its success is that his cousin the painter Panæus lent his talent in covering certain parts of the statue with brilliant colours, notably the draperies.” How significant is this statement to those who condemn the colouring of statuary!

It is purely arbitrary to maintain that relief and colour may not be united in art. Rather we may agree with M. Homobles when he declares that “the Greeks harmonised colour and form so perfectly that for them in the sixth century painting was a flattened bas-relief, and bas-relief a painting with the paste laid on very thick.” It is the opinion of M. Marcel Dieulafoy, founded, as he tells us, on researches pursued during more than half a century, that “no matter what the material—wood, stone, bronze, marble, terra-{10}cotta—nor the epoch of production, the Hellenes accentuated with coatings and sometimes with coloured enamels the figures in bas-reliefs and alto-reliefs, unless in the case of juxtaposition with other materials of different colour.” Thus we are brought to the conclusion that those who condemn as barbarous the use of colour in statuary must condemn also the statuary of Greece.

Nor was multi-colourisation confined to the Greek sculptors. It was a natural development in the art of carving in every country, arising, as we have seen, out of the desire of the artist to bring his work into a closer relation with life. The Egyptians and the Chaldeans never limited themselves to the use of form in their statues and in their architecture, but sought for ways of rendering colour. The great Asiatic races used enamel as the basis of their decoration. Here we find the origin of the multi-coloured sculpture of Babylon, Assyria, and Susa, and, at a later date, that of Medea and Persia. This art reached Byzantium—a country which gained the highest skill in glass mosaic—and also Rome. Persian artists, following in the train of the conquering Arabs, brought the secrets and methods of their art to many European countries, and among them to Spain and Portugal. The influence spread also{11} from Byzantium, and, in a lesser degree, from Rome, and soon multi-colourisation was universally adopted, and all statues, whether of wood, stone, or copper, were covered with colour.

Centuries passed before a reaction set in. It became a creed of artistic faith that the use of colour to accentuate works in relief was barbarous. The reason of the change is very simple. Many of the ancient coloured statues had lost their colour by lapse of time, and those who saw them were deceived, believing that as they were then, so they had been created. Then pictures came to be painted more frequently, and colour was allowed to them, while form alone was accorded to statuary.

But the tradition of polychrome statuary yet persisted, and at the opening of the Renaissance still fought for life. Italy possessed some great statue colourists in the fifteenth century. We know of coloured statues and bas-reliefs by Donatello, by Mino of Fiesole, by Pisáno of Luca, by della Robbia, and others. Even much later we find examples of the continued use of colour. Such, for instance, are the equestrian statues of the ducal family of Sabbroneta and the groups in the chapels of the Sacromonte at Varullo. It is important to remember that the great masters{12} deplored the abandonment of statue colouring, and, among others, Michael Angelo wrote an instructive and precious letter upon the subject.

Coloured statuary was more persistent in the south than in the north. Flanders, Germany, and afterwards France were converted from the custom. Yet Jan van Eyck collaborated with the sculptor, as did also André Beaunevau. The life-size statues which decorate the Château of Madrid built for Francis I., and those in the Toulouse Museum, taken from the Basilica of St. Sermin, prove that coloured statuary still persisted in the sixteenth century. These last figures are of special interest from their analogy with Spanish polychrome statuary.

It was in Spain that the art of polychrome lived and developed. The finest of her coloured statues were wrought in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and also in the beginning of the eighteenth centuries, a period when the practice was dead in almost all other countries. For this reason, even if for no other, Spanish carvings claim the attention of the student of art. They are the crown of what has been achieved by earlier civilisations.

What was it that kept Spain alone faithful to the old method of using colour as well as form to give life to her statues? First, a respect for{13} tradition which has marked all things in this strong and stubborn race. Then the Spanish carvers were in very close connection with Mudéjar architecture, which was closely allied with the art of Persia, in which colour ruled with such supreme insistence, and whose whole strength lay in ornamentation. But deeper even than these outer reasons was the Spanish character, which expressed itself in their altar carvings and in their statues. The one thing the Spanish artist sought for first was the reality of life; and this life was religious life, for in Spain the divine life was not separate—a thing detached—but a real living part of the human daily life of the people. The painted statues were at once more life-like and spoke a more real language to the people, than figures chiselled in white stone. The statuary of Spain was not wrought, in the first place, to fulfil claims of art, but to satisfy the needs of the people. It is still in the convents and churches of Spain—not in the museums, if we except the museums of Valladolid and Seville—that the masterpieces of polychrome statuary remain. It is there that we must seek them.[B]{14}



The beginnings of sculpture in Spain take us back to the middle years of the fifth century B.C. It is to this date, about 440 B.C., that the beautiful sculptured bust of the Lady of Elche belongs. The figure was discovered in August 1897 at Elche, one of the most ancient and interesting of the old towns of Spain. Situated in the beautiful ravine of the Vinalapó, twelve miles distant from Alicante, Elche still retains almost unaltered its Arab character. It was the Roman Ilice, and probably the Iberian Helike, where Hamilcar was defeated. The town is especially fortunate in having possessed this treasure, which speaks so splendidly of the power and strength of Spain’s ancient art. This is the earliest and by far the most important of the antique statues of Spain—the one supreme example of primitive Iberian work. But alas! the Lady of Elche has been{15} taken out of Spain and is now in the Louvre at Paris.

It is a stone bust of a woman of life size. The lips and part of the hair still retain traces of red colour. The expressive face, delicate and yet strong, has suffered little. She wears enormous ear pendants of Oriental style, and two great wheels frame her head. Around her neck hangs a Greco-Phœnician necklace, such as women wore from the time of the Peloponnesian War. It is this that fixes the date of the statue. It would seem to be the work of a native artist who was under the combined influences of Greece and Phœnicia. Only a Spanish artist could have thus immortalised the character of Spanish womanhood. Indeed it is this special Spanish quality which is the most interesting feature of this remarkable work. Mr. Havelock Ellis has pointed out the resemblance which the Lady of Elche bears to Velazquez’ “Woman with the Fan.” And this is no fanciful idea. There is a strange likeness in all Spanish art—a likeness which is at once its strength and also its weakness, and which may be traced to the strong and persistent character of this race that has altered so little in the passing of the centuries. It is this marked individuality that speaks even more strongly in Spanish sculpture than in Spanish{16} painting. The Lady of Elche stands for all that is Spain.

Apart from the Lady of Elche no important single example of Iberian art remains to us. Statues have been found, such as the Cirro de los Santos and the Llano de la Consolacion, which certainly were painted. M. Marcel Dieulafoy believes that this was also the case with the statue of a bull facing a bearded man, in the Museum of Valencia; that of the griffin and the anthropoid sarcophagus at Cadiz; and the interesting heads of bulls in bronze, found at Costig, Majorca, which bear some resemblance to the Susian bulls and Grecian bronzes, and, like them, have some parts gilded. Then it will not do to neglect the strange stone figures of bulls scattered in different places in Spain and Portugal, one fine example being in the square of Avila. Little is known as to the origin and purpose of these remarkable examples of Iberian art, but some still bear traces of vermilion colouring. The existence of these works, as well as many other notable fragments in different churches in Spain, prove at least that the native Iberian carver had attained a skill certainly remarkable at this early date.

But then followed, as is so often the case, a long night, of which nothing of special interest is{17} known. The Roman sculptures, which follow chronologically those of the Iberian epoch, are not remarkable in any way. They do not reveal any special character.

There are few sculptures left which can with any certainty be referred to the Visigothic period. The fragments discovered at San Romano de Hornija, at Toledo, and at Seville, though they bear vestiges of Visigothic workmanship, belong in reality to the Christian period. It would seem that the Visigoths for the most part limited their work to restoring the Roman buildings and adapting them for Christian uses. The ornamentation which they often added is usually of Byzantine origin, an influence reaching Spain through France. Yet the sumptuous character of their art is shown in the only important works of this period which remain: the splendid votive crowns of Kings Recceswinth and Swenthila, found in 1858 at Guarraza, near Toledo (Plate 1), and now in the Royal Armoury, Madrid, and in the Musée de Cluny in Paris. But these crowns are not Spanish works. Indeed many centuries separate the genuinely Spanish carvings of the Iberian artists from any work that again manifests the characters which belong to the native art.

It has been said by Professor Carl Justi, in a{18} short but excellent account of Spanish sculpture which is given in Baedeker’s “Guide to Spain,” that “the existence of works in stone can hardly be proved before the eleventh century.” This is a mistake. The early Christian carvings are in stone; they must be sought in Asturias, the provinces which first shook off the Moorish rule.

In 791 Alfonso II., known as the Chaste, made Oviedo the capital of the then struggling kingdom of Asturias. He was a ruler of ability and culture, and spent all his time when he was not fighting in building both churches and palaces. On his return from his campaigns he consecrated the spoils taken from the enemy to embellish his growing city.

The most important of the buildings of Alfonso is the Cámara Santa of the cathedral, once the Capilla San Miguel, which was part of the original church of Alfonso, and was built in the eighth century by his architect Favila. The room itself is small, without ornament, roofed with low barrel vaulting, and lighted with one small window. But here are guarded the relics in the Byzantine-Latin style, which are among the most interesting examples that remain to us of the work of the period. The Cruz de los Angeles, a work of the eighth century and the gift of Alfonso II., and the{19} Cruz de la Victoria, supposed to have belonged to Pelayo, both resemble very closely the crowns of Guarraza; like them, they are not typically Spanish work. That of the Angeles is of filigree work of exquisite delicacy, and enriched in the centre with rare encrusted rubies and other precious stones; while that of the Victory is made of wood, but Alfonso III. had it overlaid with gold and ornamented with jewels. A third relic, the cash-box of St. Eulalia, has its chief interest in the inscription in Arabic and Cufic characters which surrounds the cover. A special historical interest belongs to the relic known as the Arca de los Santos. The cover, on which is engraved the figures of the Apostles, and the Latin inscriptions belong, by the character of the vestments, which are those described by St. Isidore, and by the letters used, to the sixth or seventh centuries; while the Saviour and angels on the box itself, the inscriptions in Cufic lettering, as well as the general style of reliquary, have the characters which belong to the Spanish works of the eleventh and early years of the twelfth centuries. The explanation, of course, is that the casket was restored and its character altered at a later date, and probably in the reign of Alfonso VI. This mingling of different styles and periods in one{20} work of art meets us continually in Spain. It is due in large measure to the custom by which the Spaniards used and borrowed the arts of the Moors, even for long after they had conquered them.

There are a few works in the Madrid Archæological Museum which are in the Latin-Byzantine style, and should be compared with the treasure of the Cámara Santa, and to the same period belong other relics now in different churches in the Peninsula.

In the reign of Alfonso the Chaste were built the churches of San Tirso and San Tulliano or Julian, which, though unfortunately much restored, may still be visited in Oviedo. Belonging to an even earlier date was the Church of Santa Cruz de Canjas, which was built by the royal architect Favila, in Alfonso’s reign, and which was the original church on the Monte Santo, the site where the cathedral of Oviedo now stands. This church was rebuilt by Alfonso II. in 830, and surrounded by protecting walls. The ancient Spanish chroniclers expatiate on the magnificence of these buildings of Alfonso, speaking of their columns of marble, and wealth of decorations of gold and silver. Doubtless they exaggerate; to-day there is very little of interest to be seen remaining in the edifices.{21}

Much more important are the buildings erected by Alfonso’s successor, Ramiro I. (843-850), a king of unusual culture, who, in spite of continual wars with the Moors, found time to carry further the improvement of the royal city of Oviedo. During this reign, writes M. Marcel Dieulafoy, “there was a veritable renaissance of the plastic arts.” Two of these buildings that we owe to Ramiro I. are still in existence, and though sadly neglected and disfigured by alterations, they should be visited by all who take an interest in early Spanish work. They stand together on the summit of the low mountain Naranco, which is situated one and a quarter miles from Oviedo. The first, the Church of San Miguel, is a basilica with nave and aisles. We recognise in the heavy pillars with splayed capitals and massive polygonal bases, as also in the frequently used cord and twisted fringe, so characteristic of the period, a marked Byzantine character. Many sculptured subjects occur among the foliage which decorates both the bases and capitals of the columns. These heads must be attributed either to the Roman traditions or, as is more likely, to the early French schools. The other church is even more interesting. Santa Maria de Naranco probably formed part of Ramiro’s palace, but the building was converted{22} into a church about the year 905. It consists of a cellar-like nave, with waggon vaulting, opening by three arches into a choir at one end and a presbytery at the other. Below is a crypt. Here the work shows strong Roman influence, and most precious details of ornament occur.

Another church of great interest belonging to this early period is that of San Pedro in the ancient city of Zamora. True bas-reliefs are here introduced among the leafy decorations of the capitals: one, still in excellent preservation, represents the sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham. This is very remarkable—one of those surprises that meet the student so often in Spanish art—for the Byzantine sculptors did not customarily use the human figure in such circumstances.

This bas-relief brings us to the very few Spanish statues of this period, when all the skill of the artists seems to have been spent in buildings. There is the small ivory crucifix, formerly painted and encrusted with gems, in the Museum of Leon (Plate 2), and the crucifix of the Cid, now at Salamanca (Plate 3). Both are Byzantine in character. The little-known statue of the Virgin and Child, preserved in the sanctuary of Ujué, is a work of greater interest. The figure is ninety-one centimetres in height, and dates, M. Marcel{23} Dieulafoy thinks, from the eleventh, or even the end of the tenth century. The colouring, and also the primitive character of the work, has been spoiled to some extent by added ornaments, and by the silver throne on which the figure now sits. But there is real strength in the face of the Virgin, and more individuality than is common in the Byzantine figures; again we have a hint of Spanish work.

Figures in stone, dating back to the eleventh century, and earlier, may be found on the portals, fonts, and tombs of many Spanish churches, especially in the N.W. and in the district of the Pyrenees. Most of them are of barbaric workmanship, but many are interesting. A painted sculpture of the Saviour seated in the act of blessing, in the Byzantine manner, was discovered in 1895 at Santander. M. Marcel Dieulafoy, who mentions this work, places it in the tenth or the eleventh century.

These few statues, then, are all that we have of Latin-Byzantine art in Spain. Rude as the figures undoubtedly are, falling far below the works of the native Iberian art which preceded them, it will not do to neglect them. Christian Spain was convulsed with ceaseless warfares, which gave little time for the development of the{24} arts. Native talent slept. Christian monarchs employed Moorish sculptors, architects, decorators, and goldsmiths. So it happened that there was developed in Spain a sort of pseudo-Mozarabic style in which, for a time, the characteristic Spanish work seemed lost.{25}



At the close of the eleventh century a new and more vigorous life sprang up in the art of Spain. The fresh impulse came from France; it expended itself chiefly in building.

It is necessary to remember that the geographical barrier of the Pyrenees forms no real ethnological separation between that country and Spain; one and the same Iberian race dwells in Gascony, Navarre, and the Basque provinces. Hence it is easy to understand that natural relations, intimate and frequent, grew up between the two countries. Marriage alliances united the two royal families, and the princes of France crossed the frontier to fight against the Moors in Spain. With them came priests and monks, more learned than their neighbours, many of whom settled in the Peninsula. In this way the influence of the great orders of Cluny and Citeaux spread and grew powerful.{26} Then followed architects and sculptors from Aquitaine, Languedoc, Toulouse, Burgundy, and Normandy, to find work, and impress their separate influences on the numerous churches that at this time were being built. The Romanesque cathedrals are indeed the direct outcome of French mediævalism; and the figure-statues of the numerous tombs and altars are full of reminiscences, so that it is difficult to distinguish the native art. Yet in the midst of these imported styles we shall find, do we seek them, those distinct traits which belong to Spain.

It is in the province of Asturias that we find the greatest number of Romanesque churches. These churches were of moderate size. Their style was that of the basilica, with nave and aisles, a well-marked transept, a trans-apsidal termination, and a lantern or dome over the crossing. The roof was at first flat, but afterwards the nave was covered with barrel vaulting, and the aisles with quadrant or semi-barrel vaulting.

The most important of the early Romanesque churches is Santiago de Compostella (Plate 7), which was commenced and finished building during the twelfth century. It is a somewhat simplified copy of St. Sernin at Toulouse, and shows in its structure, as well as in its ornaments and{27} sculptures, very clearly marked, the influences of Cluny. This explains the great excellence of the carvings (Plates 8 and 9); works that are surprising at this period when so many figures are still barbaric. The admirable Puerta de las Gloria, which was completed by the carver Maestre Mateo in 1188, after twenty years’ work, is held by Mr. Street to be “one of the greatest glories of Christian art.” It is a vestibule or porch, divided into three sections, which extend across the entire width of the nave. The quadri-partite vaulting of the roof is adorned with elaborate carvings. Still more sumptuous are the carvings of the doorways; one, the double doorway which opens on the nave, has exquisitely delicate carvings. On the shaft dividing the doorway into two is a seated figure of St. James, holding the burdon or pilgrim’s staff; while the shaft itself has carvings of the Tree of Jesse. The shafts in the jambs have figures of the Apostles and Major-Prophets. The main capital above represents the Temptation in the Garden and Angels ministering to Christ. At the back of the middle pillar is a kneeling figure, supposed to be the portrait of Maestre Mateo. Then in the tympanum is a seated figure of Our Lord, with upraised hands; and round Him are the Evangelists and eight angels{28} with the symbols of the Passion, while above are a company of the worshipping elect. The archivolt shows figures of the twenty-four elders of the Apocalypse. The general idea of the subject of the whole doorway is the Appearance of Christ at the Last Judgment, but each of the series of small pictures is in itself an independent work of art. The side doorways which lead into the aisles are equally ornate. The shafts are adorned with figures of the Apostles; above are representations of Purgatory and Hell. All the figures are clearly painted. M. Marcel Dieulafoy does not think, however, that the tones which now show are the original colours, but that during the restoration in the seventeenth century some innovations occurred.

The Colegiata de San Isidoro at Leon (Plate 10), an early Romanesque edifice, resembles in many respects Santiago de Compostella. The actual date of the building is difficult to establish. It was founded by Ferdinand I. of Castile in 1065 as a royal mausoleum; and the building is said to contain the tombs of eleven kings and twelve queens. It was altered and rebuilt by Maestro Pedro Vitambeu, and was not consecrated until 1149, while even then much of its decoration was probably incomplete. Some subjects of sculpture{29} and ornamentation are very analogous to St. Sernin, Toulouse. The main façade is decorated with quaint old reliefs in stone; above the right portal are the Descent from the Cross (Plate 11) and the Deposition in the Tomb, with St. Paul on the right hand and St. Peter on the left. Then in the tympanum of the left portal is a very interesting Sacrifice of Abraham, placed under a zodiacal frieze. But perhaps the most interesting parts of the building are the chapel and cloisters of the eastern aisle, where the groined vaults are covered with fresco paintings of admirable effect and preservation. The paintings show strongly the influence of France, curiously interpreted by the native art. C. Gasquoine Hartley writes, in “A Record of Spanish Painting”: “In colour and certain peculiarities of outline they are strongly French, but they are executed with a rugged and original force which is entirely Spanish.... The Bible narratives are executed with a direct and almost brutal baldness that at once marks the frescoes as the work of a Spaniard.” We are, however, chiefly interested with their colourisation, which is very important where so much of the colourisation of statuary has disappeared. As M. Marcel Dieulafoy points out, these frescoes give the range of tones usual to this epoch in France and in Spain. We{30} find red-brown, indigo, yellow-ochre, and white; the black seems to have been obtained by a mixture of three of these colours. It is interesting to note that these are the colours, and of about the same shade, that we find used by the Persian artists in their decorations.

San Vicente of Avila (Plate 13) is another admirable example of the Romanesque churches. The nave, with its triforium and clerestory, is in a pure Romanesque style; while the transept, choir, and three semicircular apses are in the Transition style. Though the building was begun in the twelfth century it was not finished until three hundred years later, and for this reason it shows a more advanced art. M. Marcel Dieulafoy holds it to be “the most beautiful specimen and the purest example of Burgundian architecture in Spain.” The west portal (Plate 14) is decorated with admirable statuettes in terra-cotta, unfortunately much mutilated, whose style recalls that of St. Landre of Avallon. Very curious are the heads of bulls, decorating the base of the pilaster by which the tympanum is sustained. Here the analogy with the bicephalous capitals of the Achemenide is very marked.

Romanesque churches are found in other provinces of Spain. One of the most ancient is{31} San Pedro of Huesca, which was begun in the eleventh century and consecrated in 1241. The church is roofed with barrel vaulting, and terminates in three semicircular apses. It contains many sculptures characteristic of this period.

The cloisters of the Cathedral of Gerona, and those of the Monastery of Santo Domingo at Silos, and of San Pedro, and the churches of Santa Maria and Santiago at Corunna, are additional examples of the same style.

The Cathedral of Zamora (Plate 15) is a more important edifice. This ancient city had in succession two French archbishops—Bernard and Jerome de Perigneaux. It is probable that the church was erected during the episcopate of Jerome, who died in 1126. It was consecrated in 1174, as is now known from that date discovered in an old epitaph during the restoration in the eighteenth century. This makes impossible the old belief that the church was built by Bernard de Perigneaux. M. Marcel Dieulafoy believes that it is the work of an Aquitaine architect. Both the exterior of the building, with its square tower, graceful cupolas, richly decorated, and the interior are interesting, with a character very rare in Spain. Of the carvings of this church M. Marcel Dieulafoy writes:{32} “From the sculptural point of view I would signalise in the portal, the corinthian columns and niches, which both seem to come down from a monument of the decadence of the Roman age. One will notably remark the busts, bezel set in a sort of window, which has been seen in the monuments of Roman Gaul, on the northern slope of the Pyrenees, and which became a most common feature in the architecture of the Spanish renaissance; also the laurelled flying-arch, and the bas-relief of the spandril which crowns the busts.”

Two Romanesque churches, one belonging to the same period, the other to a later date, with a more advanced art, are the church and fine cloisters of San Pablo del Campo of Barcelona (Plate 16) and the Cathedral of Sigüenza. This last church, which was begun in 1102 and consecrated in 1123, was not completed until the thirteenth century. It is the most important example of the late-Romanesque Transition style. San Pablo was originally a Benedict convent, erected in 914 by Count Guitardo, but the building was restored in 1117 by Guiberto Guitardo, and is an excellent specimen of early Catalan architecture. Like San Pedro of Huesca, it has three parallel apses. The nave and transept are covered with barrel vaulting, and{33} above the crossing rises an octagonal cupola. On the chief portal are carved figures of St. John and St. Matthew; and especially interesting are the carved capitals of the columns, both those in the church itself and even more those in the cloisters, where we find cusped arches in the Saracenic style, coupled shafts, and richly decorated capitals.

In all the Romanesque churches the greatest wealth of the carver’s art is lavished on the capitals of the columns. Here we see Bible scenes and purely decorative designs, alternating, often very strangely, with fantastic monsters, fables, and scenes from daily life. Almost all of these carvings are truly Spanish in their sentiment, though the foreign influences are always visible.

The Romanesque period lasted longer in Spain than in France; we do not find the Pointed or Gothic style before the twelfth century, when the Cistercian order introduced the severe and noble Burgundian type of church. But many old churches, though begun in the Romanesque period, assumed a Gothic character before their completion; we find this at Tarragona, in the old Cathedral of Salamanca, and in those of Londa and Tudela, as well as in many other churches. In the Monastery of Las Huelgas, Burgos, celebrated as the church where Edward I. of England was knighted by{34} Alonso the Learned, the church, dating from 1279, is in severe Gothic style; the cloisters, too, are Gothic, but in the earlier Claustreo (Plate 17) there are fine Romanesque capitals and arches. Again, the older and less-known Cistercian Abbey at Verula is a Transition building, while the beautiful cloisters of the fourteenth century are Gothic.

This mingling of styles, owing to the difference in time between the building of different parts of the same church, has a real advantage to the student of Spanish architecture and sculpture. The Cathedral of Tarragona (Plate 18) especially furnishes an almost complete series of examples of all the Spanish art-styles. For the church, built on the site of a mosque, was begun about the year 1118, and dates mainly from the end of the twelfth and first half of the thirteenth centuries, but additions were made from the fourteenth century onwards as late as the eighteenth century. Thus we have examples of early Christian art in a sarcophagus of the façade, and that in the ancient window of the Capilla Mayor with the three Byzantine columns. The main building is a brilliant example of the developed Romanesque Transition style; the beautiful cloisters, among the most perfect in Spain,{35} and the earliest of the side chapels are Gothic; the other chapels, added later, date from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, and are in the Renaissance and baroque styles. Even Moorish art is represented in the azulejo roofing of the N.W. lateral chapels, and in the small Moorish window, said to be a prayer niche or mihrab, with its Cufic inscription dating from the year of the Hegira 347—that is, 958 A.D.—in the ancient Capilla de Santa Maria Magdalena. The splendid doorway, with elaborate carvings, which gives entrance to the cloisters is the most notable pre-Gothic work in marble in Spain (Plate 19). But of this work we shall speak in the next chapter.

Following these early Gothic buildings we have the developed French cathedral style of the thirteenth century introduced into Spain. It is first seen in the great cathedrals of Burgos and Toledo (Plates 20 and 21), and a little later in that of Leon (Plate 22), the most perfect of the Gothic cathedrals in Spain. Very little of the national Spanish art is visible in these buildings; built for the most part by French architects, they recall in turn the cathedrals of Rheims, Beauvais, Bayonne, and Amiens; some see in Leon a copy of the great cathedral at{36} Chartres. The truth is that the style of these buildings is eclectic; they are all distinguished by the romantic magnificence of their ornamentation. The elaborately carved choir-stalls of Leon Cathedral (Plates 23-29) furnish a splendid example of the power of carving. They are the masterpiece of John of Malines and the Dutch artist Copin. It was from carvings such as these that the native artists drew their inspiration.{37}



During the Romanesque and, even more, in the early Gothic periods the creative forces of art in Spain found its expression, after building, in carving in stone and wood. A wealth of ornament meets us in every building, for it must be remembered that the churches are the real museums of Spain. We have in the last chapter spoken incidentally of some of these carvings in connection with the churches for which they were executed. It is now necessary to examine in detail the most representative of these works. Among them we shall find many beautiful examples of polychrome statuary.

All the statues of this time were coloured, for Spain, always tenacious in her habits, never wavered from the custom of colouring her carvings to resemble life. However, few pieces retain manifest traces of such colourisation, the tints having been lost through the action of the atmos{38}phere, as well as through frequent washings. The statues in the Gloria of Santiago de Compostella (Plate 30) are among the earliest works that are clearly painted, and even in these, as we have seen, it is very doubtful if the present tints represent the original colours used.

For this reason a very special interest attaches to the fine font in enamelled bronze, now in the Museum of Burgos, which came from the monastery of Santo Domingo at Silos. This remarkable and fine work is coloured and richly encrusted with gold and jewels, but of these unfortunately many have disappeared. Seated on a throne, the figure of God the Father occupies the centre, and ranged on either side are the twelve Apostles. The figures are set in a kind of frame formed by columns placed on a base of metal crossed by horizontal bars. Two winged monsters are in the triangles on either side, and a dove is placed above the figure of God. Small rectangular enamelled medallions are encrusted in the frame. Colour is used for the robes of the figures, for the winged monsters, the dove, and the medallions, the predominant tints being dark blue or vivid green. The heads, the hands, and the feet, as well as the architectural motives, are all in gold. Polished stones in bezel settings alternate in the decoration{39} of the frame with the coloured medallions, and though many of the stones have disappeared this rich setting helps the effect of the whole bas-relief, which is one of great splendour.

Besides the altar font the old monastery of Silos possessed a rich collection of religious furniture. Among those which have been saved are a chalice, used under the Mozarabic ritual for celebrating the communion, a very beautiful specimen of the mudéjar goldsmith’s work; an altar-screen of engraved copper with figures of the Apostles; and several small cofferets or caskets. One of these, composed of an elephant’s tusk, belonged to Rahman III., Khalif of Cordova, at the beginning of the tenth century; another, made at Cuenca in 1026, is of ivory, and represents a Mussulman: it was mounted in enamel at a later date (about 1150).

The ancient Convent of San Marcos at Leon is another church which has retained its ancient treasures; among them are several polychromes. These do not seem to have been repainted. Unfortunately half of the precious collection has been stolen: those that remain are now in the Museum at Leon. The figures are carved in wood, and the head, hands, and nude parts are coloured. The vestments, made of cloth, hardened{40} by means of a glaze, are also coloured, the tints used being very harmonious. There is also a carved triptych in wood of the same date, but the carving of the figures is not so good and the colours used are cruder. The statue of San Francisco (Plate 31) belongs to a later date. It is a most interesting polychrome, with splendid character in the rendering of the head. In the Cathedral of Leon are various statues which belong to the same period, while in the cloisters is an interesting bas-relief, Our Lady del Foro and the Offering of the Kings (Plate 33).

Some fine carvings, in the French style, come from the Portenda de San Miguel, Estella. This style of carving spread over the whole of Spain, and additional examples may be seen in the Cathedral of Sangüesa, in two interesting and little-known churches at Olete, in the Cathedral of Basque Vittoria, and in the old churches of Leon and Valencia.

Statues on tombs are very numerous, and we find them in almost every church. At first the figures are rudely carved, the skill of the artist being expended on the frames, and the cast of the features being largely a convention. Indeed these early monumental figures cannot be regarded as portraits. Among the first examples are the{41} figures on the royal monument at Najera, erected by Sancho III. 1157. Here the figures are mere puppets. Another early tomb is that in the Convent of Las Huelgas, Burgos (Plate 34). Even the sarcophagus of St. Eulalia, at Barcelona, of as late a date as 1327, with its Pisan reminiscences, shows how easily art was sometimes satisfied at this period.

But there are some really fine tombs belonging to the Romanesque period. The Church of the Magdalena—formerly of the Templars—at Zamora contains two knights’ tombs, one of which M. Marcel Dieulafoy considers the finest Romanesque tomb in Spain. The figure, just expired and resting on the death-bed, is placed beneath a portico of twin balustrades which crown the structure. Fantastic animals are carved on the spandrils, and the columns and capitals are richly decorated. The couch stands against a wall, on which are sculptured seraphs, while two angels bear away to Paradise the materialised soul of the dead man wrapped in a winding-sheet. This device is common in Spain, where there are many tombs of the same character, but, writes M. Marcel Dieulafoy, “I do not know of one where the decorative sculpture is rendered more boldly or with greater talent.{42}

The statues, once funeral monuments, but now set into the wall of the old Cathedral of Salamanca, are important as being among the most complete examples of the twelfth-century polychrome (Plate 35). The sarcophagus, the reclining figures, and the niches containing them are all painted—red, blue-black, and white being the predominating tints. There are some traces of yellow, probably due, as M. Marcel Dieulafoy suggests, to the sizing used in fixing the gilding; there are also some green tints in the foliage which decorates the arch in one of the tombs. Fortunately these statues have suffered very little from the hand of the restorer. The statue of Diego de Anaya on the tomb in the Capilla de San Bartolomé, to the south of the cloisters, is another work of importance in the same cathedral. It is quite ideal in its treatment.

The Cathedral of Tarragona represents the same diversity in its statuary as we have noted in its architectural styles. Thus the statuary of the west façade may be divided into three distinct groups. The first, date about 1278, consists of the beautiful sculptured figures of nine Apostles, placed on the main portal, which were carved by the Catalan artist Maestro Bartolomé (Plate 36). The Apostles and Prophets on the buttresses were{43} executed a century later by Jaime Castayls, another native Catalan carver. They are clumsy and of ordinary character compared with the delicate work of Maestro Bartolomé. The group of the Virgin and Child which is placed above the pillars of the great door is not native work, but comes certainly from France. The author is unknown.

The cloisters and portals of the Cathedral of Burgos offer another example of an admirable museum of sculpture. The earlier carvings—such, for instance, as the figures on the Apostles’ door (Plate 37), belonging to the opening years of the thirteenth century—are somewhat stiff and constrained in style and contrast with the graceful ease of the later works of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries (Plate 38). The special interest of the cloisters is that its carvings are coloured, and fortunately up to the present they have not suffered from restoration (Plates 39-41). The colours are faded, but we can see that the vivid reds and blues, so much loved by the Moorish artists employed by the Christians of this period, were used, as well as a preponderance of gilding. Here, as at Salamanca, the general tone of the colourisation is in the mudèjar style.

The cloisters of Pampeluna are in the same style and little inferior to those of Burgos. The{44} statues and bas-reliefs are in stone; the most beautiful, and one of the finest examples left to us from the fourteenth century, is that which represents the Death of the Virgin. Unfortunately the colouring of this piece and of all the statues at Pampeluna has been ruined by restoration.

The Cathedral of Burgos is rich in Gothic tombs. The statues of St. Ferdinand and Beatrice of Swabia, on the north wall of the cloisters, are among the finest specimens of portrait sculpture. In the same place is the late Gothic tomb of Don Gonzalo de Burgos. The monument of Archbishop Maurice (died 1238), which is in the centre of the choir, is also a work of special importance, showing, as it does, the skill of the Spanish artists in enamelled copper (Plate 43). Of the same style is the tomb of Jaime of Aragon (Plate 46), who died in 1334, in Tarragona Cathedral, and two monuments in the Cathedral of Leon, that of Martin, the first bishop of the city (Plate 47), the other of Don Ordoño II., who died 923 (Plate 48). All three monuments are of excellent workmanship, and important as fine specimens of portrait sculpture. We may mention also the sarcophagus of St. Vincent and his sisters, SS. Sabina and Criseta, in the Church of San Vicente at Avila (Plate 49), with notable reliefs of the thir{45}teenth century, and surmounted by a Gothic canopy of a later date—about 1465—resting upon coupled columns. But indeed it is difficult to make a selection among the numerous monuments that claim attention. One work stands out as a masterpiece. The magnificent tomb of Archbishop Lopez de Luna, in the Seo of Zaragoza, is the most splendid example of the French-Gothic style in Spain (Plate 50). Even so calm a critic as Professor Carl Justi pronounces this work “a masterpiece.” Mitre on his head, a cross in his hand, and dressed in rich pontifical robes, the figure reclines on the sarcophagus. The face, set in the calm of death, is modelled by a master hand. Behind, placed in a niche which is cut in the thickness of the wall, stand a company of monks and nuns, who weep for their benefactor. Other figures are grouped along the inner face of the tomb; each is marked with character, and is carved with fine skill. But it is not possible to convey in words the effect of this splendid and simple work. In its style it may be compared with the mausoleum of Philippe the Bold, the masterpiece of Burgundian art. It is of the same date, and M. Marcel Dieulafoy believes that the Spanish monument must have been executed in Spain by Aragonese artists who had learnt the{46} art of carving in France. This opinion of French influence directing the native artists is supported by the fact that the Tarragona monument is not a solitary example. This French style of carving spread over the Peninsula; the cathedrals of Burgos, Leon, and Toledo—to name a few out of many churches—are rich in similar monuments. It is necessary to remember this close connection between the arts of France and Spain. The great ecclesiastical orders of France, and especially that of Cluny, gave inspiration to the Romanesque and Gothic periods. It was not until the last third of the fifteenth century, when a new art method came from the Netherlands, that the French influence weakened. Spanish art was almost invariably stimulated from without. But it was these imported art-styles, naturally awakening imitation, which called into existence the native schools of carving, and showed anew those distinct traits which can be called Spanish.

There were at this time, in Castile and Aragon, a number of really capable native artists; without doubt they learnt their art from the French sculptors who had settled in Spain. The most skilful native worker was Juan de la Huarte, of whose exquisite Virgin we shall speak directly. But besides Juan de la Huarte, we know of Pedro de{47} Vallfongona, called Father Johan, who has left many fine carvings; and Jordi Johan, doubtless his brother, commonly known as Maestro Jordi, maker of images, the author, among other works, of the Sepulchre of Juana, Countess of Asturias (1386), and of the Archangel Raphael, which crowns the beautiful doorway of Barcelona Town Hall. Then there was Pedro Oller, who carved, in 1450, the screen of the grand altar of Vich, and, in 1442, the tomb of Ferdinand I. of Aragon. There were also skilled goldsmiths such as Marcos Canzes and Francisco Vilardell; nor must we forget the unknown author of the incomparable Custodia of Vich Cathedral, a splendid example of the silver-work of the period.

Before closing this chapter it is left to notice a few isolated works that are treasured in the different cities of the Peninsula. And first must come the perfect statues and statuettes of the Virgin, which, as we might expect in religious Spain, are to be found in almost all the great churches. That known as the Virgin of Huarte, which was carved by Juan de la Huarte, was brought to Pampeluna in 1349. The statue is of white marble, and the face and vestments still bear traces of colour. Of a noble simplicity, it is one of the most exquisite produc{48}tions of art in the fourteenth century. Of less ideal beauty, but more Spanish in its sentiment, being without the French influence, is St. Ferdinand’s small ivory statuette of the Virgen de las Batallas in the Capilla Real of Seville Cathedral. This is one of the earliest works of the kind in Spain. The Cathedral of Plasencia has several images of the Virgin. Good examples—one in silver and richly jewelled—are found at Burgos and Salamanca (Plates 51 and 52), besides figures carved in wood and coloured, and also at Toledo, Sigüenza, Gandía, Segunto, and the churches in many other cities. The Santo Cristo of Burgos Cathedral may also be mentioned. Madonnas are to be seen over the altars of chapels, in gateways, or in the great retablos, as for instance at Leon (Plate 53), or again at Tortosa and Palma, where, in the last church, a really beautiful statue is hidden by a modern altar. Among these Madonnas are works full of dignity and sweetness, of genuine beauty, and carved without stiffness or looseness. They give a convincing defiance to those who decry ancient polychrome.

Very different in character, but of equal merit, is the small statue, silver painted, of St. George in the Audiencia Chapel at Barcelona. M. Marcel Dieulafoy believes that we owe this fine work to a{49} native artist. The figure, standing fully armed, is carved with youthful energy; the face, seen under the gilt visor, has lost none of its freshness, and the original tints of colouring remain. The armour is of oxidised silver, while the hinges, nails, belt, dragon, and pedestal are of burnished gilt. Of this statue M. Marcel Dieulafoy writes: “Had Meissonier painted the figure he could not have done it otherwise.” Again we have a triumph of polychrome.

Other statues worthy of special mention are the busts, executed in enamelled silver, of S. Valerius, S. Vincent, and S. Laurent, in the Treasury of Zaragoza Cathedral; the figures of Don Gutierre de Cardenas, Duke of Magueda, and of his wife, Doña Teresa Enriquez, each offering respectively their son and daughter to the Virgin, and the finer praying figure of Juan II. of Castile, who ruled from 1406 to 1454, and was the father of Isabella the Catholic. These statues are in Burgos Cathedral. Gems among smaller works of art are the plates in silver, showing scenes in the life of the Virgin, which cover the high altar in the Cathedral of Gerona. Their date is 1348.{50}



The altar-screens, of great size, and known in Spain as retablos, which meet us in every church may be considered as the most entirely characteristic expression of the country’s art. Nowhere has the development of the altar-screen assumed such importance. The huge retablos of Spain stand alone both in their dimensions and in their magnificence. In these works were joined the common efforts of the architect, the sculptor, and the painter. Of a size and with a wealth of decoration so great that often an examination of their detail is fatiguing, they represent the most exhaustive examples of the creative thought and power of representation of the native artists.

Their evolution is interesting and curious. At first we find them as screens of pagan and Roman origin, and dating back to the middle of the twelfth century. But the pagan screens were adapted by{51} Christians, who gave to them the name diptycha of the Apostles, of the Martyrs, and of the Saints, and used them as portable altars, and also largely as votive gifts, their richness being in proportion to the wealth of the giver and the importance of the subject depicted. We have several examples in the Camara Santa of Oviedo Cathedral and in the Camarin of Santa Teresa, Escorial (Plate 55). The Tablas Alfonsinas in the Sacristia Mayor of the Cathedral of Seville is another and more important example. This treasure is specially interesting, as it shows the actual use made of these folding tablets. It was the altar of Alfonso the Learned, and was presented by him to the cathedral in 1274 after he had used it in battle; for in Spain these altar-screens were carried by Christian generals travelling in the campaigns against the Moors. As the Reconquest progressed their importance increased, and we have triptycha and pentaptycha as well as diptycha; their number multiplied as they became richer and grander in ornament. They were connected with the deepest religious feelings of Christian Spain, being used by the Paladins to pray to before plunging into battle. Later, from portable altars they became fixed altars in churches. From this time their size and magnificence increased, the religious sentiment{52} associated with them explaining, as we believe, both their frequency and their importance in the art of the period.

A selection of the most admirable altar-screens alone would make a long list. Almost every church and all the great cathedrals furnish examples; they are especially numerous in the churches of Catalonia and Navarre.

The altar-screen in the Romanesque church of San Feliú, though less known than those of Zaragoza, Barcelona, Tarragona, Pampeluna, and Burgos, is important as a very beautiful and early example of these retablos. It is in two distinct sections, which stand upon a widely spreading base. The first or central part is in three storeys, which are supported by Gothic pillars, and in the nine niches stand statues of the saints. These, as well as the bas-reliefs and carvings on the pillars, are of great vigour, and the effect is strengthened by the admirable painting and gilding. The second part of the screen is composed of two wings, on which are carved the figures of the prophets, surrounded by rich foliage. These too are painted and gilded.

The creative power displayed in these retablos is often surprising. But it must be admitted that their general effect is less satisfactory than an{53} examination of the parts in detail would lead us to expect. The artists would often seem to have been hampered by the huge size they had to ornament. Continuing the accustomed forms, evolved for use in screens of more modest dimensions, they have gained the desired amplitude of ornament by a multiplication of the same forms that is often wearying. But granting this, it is among these works that many important and beautiful statues will be found. For this reason they cannot be overlooked by the student of Spanish polychromes.

No altar-screen in Spain is more beautiful or more worthy of study than the one in the Capilla Mayor of Tarragona Cathedral. It illustrates the life of St. Tecla, the disciple of St. Paul, and the tutelary saint of Tarragona, who was martyred, according to legend, on this spot. We read the story in the delightful Légende Dorée of Jaques de Voragine:—

“St. Paul was seized and conveyed to prison, whither his disciple Tecla followed him. The apostle and the maiden were judged together, and together condemned: he to be beaten with rods and driven from the city, she to be burned alive. She threw herself joyously on to the pyre, but immediately a heavy shower of rain fell from the sky and extinguished the flames; also a great{54} earthquake occurred, in which perished a great number of pagans. By this means Tecla was enabled to escape. She took refuge in the house where St. Paul was living, and was overjoyed to meet the inspirer of her conversion. She wished to cut her hair and travel with him, disguised as a man. But this the apostle would not permit, for she had great beauty.”

In the Tarragona screen charming pinnacles crown a bas-relief representing the Virgin and her Child, to the right and left of which stand St. Paul and St. Tecla, figures of heroic size, who regard the group with pious emotion. Beside them are bas-reliefs, most minutely executed, representing scenes in the saint’s life. In one we see her as described by Voragine, with serene face, her body nude, and praying in the midst of the flames which envelop without burning her. Angels encourage and sustain her, while below are seen the grinning heads of the damned. In another scene the saint is surrounded by reptiles and wild beasts in the cave into which she was thrown; and in yet another she stands beside a bull, destined to drag and crush her body among the stones of the road. Between the bas-reliefs are statues of prophets, apostles, and saints; and on brackets, in the midst of foliage, repose female saints with{55} smiling faces. All the figures are carved with great skill, and besides there is a wealth of detail—flowers, foliage, animals, and insects—all of which are treated with surprising ability.

The colourisation of the screen, like most marble and alabaster monuments, has suffered from repeated and careless washings. But the carvings preserve everywhere vestiges of paint and gilt, so that it is possible to reconstruct the scheme of colour. This is curious—generally blue and gold, with only a few touches of red and brown, which M. Marcel Dieulafoy suggests may be due to the artist’s desire to surround St. Tecla by the virginal and holy atmosphere which would be suggested by this manifold and unusual use of blue tones. This realisation of the spiritual expression of a legend is very characteristic of Spain, whose artists possessed as their greatest gift the power of rendering a story just as they felt it had happened.

We owe the Tarragona altar-screen to a native Catalan artist. It was begun in 1426 by Pedro Juan de Vallfongona, who executed the bas-reliefs and statues of the first two stages, while at the same time the artist Guillermo de la Monta worked on the architecture and ornaments. But in 1436 Pedro Juan, gaining favour from the beauty of his{56} work, was called to execute an altar for Zaragoza Cathedral, after which he only retained a sort of inspectorship over the work at Tarragona, which was finished by Guillermo de la Monta.

Pedro Juan worked on the Zaragoza altar-screen until his death in 1447, aided by Pedro Garces, Guillermo Monta, and Pedro Navarro. For some reason the work was suspended for twenty-six years, when, on account of the great age of the original collaborators, it was entrusted to Gil Morlau, with Gabriel Gombao to aid him in the inferior parts. Finally the screen was completed and gilded and painted in 1480.

The altar-screen of Zaragoza has some fine bas-reliefs; the most important is that of the centre, which shows the Adoration of the Magi. The Virgin, seated, presents her Babe to the Kings, figures of vigorous life and great dignity, who bend in worship as they offer their gifts; behind, a group of figures represent a crowd of onlookers. On either side of this central composition are bas-reliefs representing scenes in the Transfiguration, lives of the Virgin, and Ascension of Christ: these are the work of Pedro Juan.

Another important retablo, which follows in date the work of Pedro Juan, is that in the{57} Capilla de Santiago (Plate 56) in the Cathedral of Toledo. It is made of larch wood, and carved, gilded, and painted in the richest Gothic style. The bas-reliefs represent scenes in the New Testament; all the figures are life size. We owe this work to the artists Sancho de Zamora, Juan de Segovia, and Pedro Gumiel, and it was begun at the end of the fifteenth century. In the same chapel at Toledo are the six magnificent Gothic tombs of Don Álvaro de Luna, the work of Pablo Ortiz, one of the most famous carvers in the fifteenth century (Plate 58). Another interesting altar-screen is that in the Capilla de la Trinidad (Plate 59).

In the carvings of these later altar-screens and tombs a new influence will be traced; for, in the last third of the fifteenth century, what may truly be termed a revolution in style took place in Spanish sculpture. A stronger realistic tendency, with a more marked individuality in the portraits, will be seen. The characteristic features are more emphasised, the gestures more free and more individual. Waved lines give place to broken ones, rounded surfaces to sharp-edged ones. This heightened vitality was due not only to a greater mastery of the technical part of sculpture by the native artists, but to a newly imported art inspiration, which now began to mingle with,{58} and even to replace, the influences of France and Burgundy.

Up till about 1400 Spain was loyal to France, and kept her artists as her teachers and advisers. Afterwards Burgundy displaced France, and we have the far-reaching influence of the great ecclesiastical orders. Now followed the rule of the Netherlands and of Germany. In the fifteenth century Spain was brought into close connection with the Low Countries. The intermarrying of the royal houses of Burgundy and Hapsburg united the Northern countries first with Portugal, and afterwards with Spain. The result of this union was a great advancement in Spain’s art. The first of the Northerners to come to Spain were painters, and we have the visit of Jan van Eyck, in 1428, with its far-reaching consequences to Spanish painting; then followed architects and sculptors. A Flemish painter was adopted by the Count of Aragon about 1440; and the Cartuja of Miraflores has a small altar-screen of which the wings were painted by him. The archives of Toledo mention a great number of Flemish artists of renown, who settled and worked in the city, among whom were Juan and Bernardino of Brussels, whose names are often mentioned by Cean Bermudez, and the four brothers Egas from Eycken, one of whom,{59} Anequin, was appointed architect of the cathedral by the chapter, and directed the work of the sculptures of the Gate of the Lions, being assisted by Fernandez de Liena and Juan Givas, also an architect of the cathedral. Then we know that at Burgos worked the Colonia family, Juan, Simeon, and Francisco, who carved the woodwork of the cathedral and that of the Cartuja of Miraflores. There were also Northern artists in Seville. Mateo and Nicolas were skilful goldsmiths, and Cristobal—all of whom probably came from Germany—was a painter on glass. Juan Aleman, in 1512, finished the choir-stalls of the cathedral, George Fernandez Aleman carved the retablo, while another artist of the same name, Rodrigo Aleman, sculptured the wainscoting of Palencia Cathedral, whose invention and humour, Professor Carl Justi says, recall the South German masters.

These Northern artists, widely distributed over Spain, brought about the transformation of art of which we have spoken. The native artists readily absorbed their influence. We now meet a marked change in the direction of realism. The Christs are long, lean, and emaciated, the Virgins are older; we have sharply defined outlines, and the religious scenes and legends are depicted with a stronger and more passionate understanding.{60}

The altar-screens were still the most important works that were executed. An interesting example, which shows very clearly this new expression of realism, is an altar-screen in the Museum of Valladolid, which came from the Convent of San Francisco (Plates 60 and 61). It is carved in walnut wood, and there are traces of painting. The figure of Christ is strangely emaciated, the Virgin is older, while all the figures are strongly characterised; there is a very considerable amount of creative thought and power in the presentment of the scene. The author of the work is unknown.

Among many other important examples of this over-accentuated realistic type may be mentioned an anonymous Pietà from Salamanca, in which we see the new tendencies expressed at their strongest point of accentuation. An altar-screen in one of the chapels of Palencia Cathedral, the bas-reliefs which ornament the spandril of the Puerta de la Piedad, the south entrance of Barcelona Cathedral, and also the figures which crown the door of the Hospice of Huesca, are further, though less striking, examples. The altar of Santa Ana in Burgos Cathedral belongs to the same period; but in this very charming example we have a work of a different character. The figures, carved in wood and coloured, especially{61} the youthful and beautiful Virgin, have a grace and freedom of movement absent from the more realistic works which were the outcome of the Northern influences.

The greatest artist of this period was Gil de Siloe, whose works rank among the most important sculptures in Spain. He was a native of Burgos, and was born at the end of the fifteenth century. His masterpiece is the monument of Don Juan II. and Doña Isabel, known as the Sepulcros de los Reyes, in the Cartuja of Miraflores, Burgos (Plate 64). It was erected by Isabella the Catholic, daughter of Juan II., and was begun in the year 1489, when Gil de Siloe received 1340 maravedis for the design. It was finished four years later, and a further sum of 442,667 maravedis for the sculpture and 158,252 for the alabaster were paid. It is perhaps the finest monument of its kind in Spain, perfect both in design and execution.

The monument, which stands in the centre of the church, is of a curious shape, being octagonal, or rather sixteen-sided, a form very uncommon, and Oriental in its origin. The recumbent figures of the King and Queen lie side by side on a sumptuous bed, and between them is a low marble railing. The King has a ring on the right hand{62} and holds a sceptre, in the Queen’s hand is a prayer-book and rosary. The sides are ornamented with statues, placed under delicate canopies, of which some represent the Cardinal Virtues, and each is a masterpiece of carving. There are besides sixteen lions bearing escutcheons, and bas-reliefs of scenes from the New Testament. Then around the top is a double cornice of foliage—branches of vines and laurels—with birds and animals splendidly carved (Plates 65 and 66).

Above the tomb, inlaid upon the wall, is the monument of their son, Alfonso (Plate 67), whose death in 1470, at the age of sixteen, brought Isabella the Catholic to the throne. This work is elaborately adorned with carvings. Placed in a small elliptic arch, the Prince kneels before a prie-dieu. He wears a mantle similar to the King. Above him are the Virgin and the Angel Gabriel, bearing a vase in which blooms a lily as the emblem of Purity, while St. Michael with the Dragon, the emblem of Victory, is placed on the spandril between the flying-arch and the accolade. Below on the sub-basement a charming group of angels hold the battle-shield of the young Prince.

The tomb, now in the Museum of Burgos, of Juan de Padella (Plate 68) is so similar to the monument of Prince Alfonso, not only in the{63} general design and style, but in the actual carrying out of the details, that it seems right to attribute it to Gil de Siloe. Juan de Padella was a royal page, killed in the siege of Granada; he is known to have been a great favourite of Queen Isabella, who called him mi loco (my fool), and it is therefore quite probable that de Siloe, the royal artist, would be employed to design and execute his tomb.

The retablo of the high altar at Miraflores (Plates 69-71) is also by Gil de Siloe, but in this work he was aided by Diego de la Cruz. It was begun in the year 1490; the date at which it was completed is not known. It has numerous statues. In the centre is a Crucifixion, with a realistic Christ. The Virgin and St. John, figures of great merit, wait beside the Cross, and a band of angels press forward to receive the drops of the Divine Blood. Above flies the symbolical pelican, feeding its young with its own blood; below are the kneeling figures of Juan II. and Isabella his wife, he being guarded by Santiago, Spain’s patron hero, while she is protected by a saint. At either side of this central composition are bas-reliefs representing scenes from the life of Christ, and figures of the Apostles and Evangelists. Perhaps the best of the carvings is the one of{64} a female saint with a figure asleep at her feet. The saint’s figure is exquisitely coloured—a perfect example of polychrome. There are also interesting carvings in the choir-stalls (Plate 72). With the Miraflores altar-screen we may compare the retablo of the Church of Santa Gadea del Cid, also at Burgos (Plate 73). The author of this important carving is unknown.

Among numerous works which deserve to take rank with the polychromes of Gil de Siloe a few must be mentioned. One of the best is the funeral monument of Doña Beatrice de Pacheco, Comtesse of Medellin, in the monastery church of the Hyeronymites del Parral, near Segovia, which M. Marcel Dieulafoy suggests is the work of Juan Eqas or his brother. Unfortunately the barbarous treatment this monument has suffered prevents its enjoying the reputation it deserves. Then there are the bas-reliefs of Christ entering Jerusalem and Christ in Hades on the door which leads from the nave to the cloisters of Burgos Cathedral, fine specimens of Gothic carving; and other examples may be seen in the cathedrals of Vittoria, Pampeluna, Avila, Valencia, Leon, and Toledo.

We have now examined the most important polychromes that were executed up to the close of the fifteenth century. They present us with works{65} of great vigour, especially those later pieces, which show the influences from the North. They were wrought at a time when the vitality of Spain was at its highest and its growth in the art of carving was in full development.

It may be well at this point, and before turning to new influences which were again to alter the tendencies of the native work, to consider briefly the technique of polychrome statuary.

The altar-screens, as we have seen, were the special activity of the period. M. Marcel Dieulafoy gives an excellent and concise account of the manner in which these important works were carried out by different sets of workmen, for it was rarely that all the processes necessary to the completion of a polychrome were undertaken by one artist. First and most important there was the tracer, afterwards called the assembler, the chief artist, who furnished the design both for the whole work and its ornaments of statuary and bas-reliefs, and also superintended its execution. To him the sculptors, ornamenters, master-masons, and master-carpenters were subordinate, but the painters, damaskers, and gilders were free from his control. Thus writes M. Marcel Dieulafoy: “The intervention of four successive brotherhoods of artists was required—1. Tracers, who later became known as{66} Architectural Assemblers; 2. Imagers, who were the sculptors and carvers; 3. the Eucaruadores, the body-painters who coloured the flesh of the figures; 4. the Estofadores and Doradores, who were respectively the stuff-painters and the gilders.” Just as the tracer had ascendency over and directed the work of the imagers—the sculptors and carvers—so the Eucaruadore, or flesh-artist, was the head of the polychrome workers, and directed the colourers of the stuff-painters and the gilders. His position was one of supreme importance, which is proved by the fact that it was not unusual for him to receive for his work as much as half of the entire sum paid. This is an interesting proof of the high esteem in which the art of polychrome was held. The Estofadores had not the same importance; their work was to paint the stuffs of the garments, generally on a background of gold, and also foliage and arabesques. The Doradores or gilders were their collaborators, and their special work, besides the gilding of the background, was to paint in “full-gilt” armour, &c., and to enrich with jewels; to their share also fell the art of damasking.

Almost all the great painters of Spain were polychromists, and we find them collaborating with the sculptors. This custom continued far beyond{67} the period we have been considering. Zurbaran, Murillo, Valdés Leal, and Pacheco coloured the statues of Gaspar Delgado and Montañés. Pacheco, the great historian, who was also a painter, especially extols the art of polychrome in several illuminating passages in his Arte de la Pintura. In one place he writes:—

“May it please God in His mercy to exile from the world the vulgar enamellers, and in the supreme cause of truth, harmony, and enlightenment to establish for flesh-painting the use of the ‘mat’ colouring” (this ‘mat’ or dull colouring superseded the burnished or polished colouring), “which approaches nearer to Nature, lends itself to numerous retouches, and so permits the production of that delicacy which to-day we so much admire. It is true that the moderns—by whom I mean those between the ancient painters and ourselves—began to employ this style, as we may gather from their treatises on sculpture and from what we see on the old altar-screens, but the merit of having revived the art in Spain, and of giving, thanks to it, a better light and more of life to good sculpture, I dare to say belongs in truth to me. At the least I am the only one in Seville who since the year 1600 preached and practised it. It is well to know that on the 17th of January in that year I painted in ‘mat’ the Christ, executed by the goldsmith Juan Bautista Franconio, after the model of the ‘four nails’ Crucifixion of Michael Angelo, which he brought from Rome. Since then all artists have imitated me. It would take too long to enumerate the{68} remarkable works of Gaspar Nuñez Delgado and Martinez Montañés which this city possesses, and in which I have collaborated; but it would be unpardonable if I did not specify some of them, as they are among the best of the number which have proved the superiority of this invention.”

He then gives a list of polychromes which he has coloured, works which we shall notice in a later chapter. Afterwards he continues:—

“Whence have they acquired the audacity, those who claim that painting on flat surfaces dominates the arts, and that if they had to paint the flesh of a statue they could do it better with their feet than the specialists with their hands? They are very much mistaken in that, for if they tried they would bring no grace, nor lightness, nor freshness to the work. In the same way that when one imitates Nature in a well-designed head, one renders the colour, the delicacy of the eyes, of the mouth, the brilliancy and effect of the hair, so even on good sculpture can admiration be exacted, as has been proved by the enthusiasm of those who have seen the works which I have painted in ‘mat.’ The fact is so public that I need not insist on it.”

Pacheco, in another passage of equal illumination, also speaks of the beauty of the art of damasking, giving a careful and full account of the process:—

“Marvellous was the invention made by the old painters for the ornamentation of figures in relief and{69} the architecture of altar-screens by gilding in burnished gold and damasking them. The colours must be the same, and chosen with the same care as those designed for illumination. They must be ground and prepared in water with the same limpidity, but in lieu of gum paste one should use the yolks of fresh eggs diluted in equal volume of water, fresh and clear, beaten to a froth. This paste must be mixed with the colours for damasking the burnished gold, taking care to size with white lead all the parts to be painted, be it either of grotesque figures or of vestments, of which the gold should serve as a background for divers colours. It is always well to know that blue does not require so strong a paste as carmine, vermilion, ochre, and other colours of little body, and that if the paste be more than a day old it is necessary to add with the egg a few drops of vinegar to prevent spoiling.”

These significant passages may well end this chapter. It must be accepted that polychrome was an art highly esteemed, that colouring of statuary, and especially of the great altar-screens, was carried out with extreme care, and was regarded as work not beneath the dignity of the greatest artists. In Spain the sculptor and the painter were as one.{70}



The Northern influences of Flanders and Germany, though far-reaching in their effects on Spanish sculpture, were not long-lived, and in the last decade of the fifteenth century they gave way to a new influence from Italy. Always responsive to newly imported art methods, her architecture, sculpture, and painting were invaded by the forms of the Italian Renaissance, and thanks to the flourishing condition of architecture and sculpture, and to a taste refined by the busy practice of these arts, the new influence found not only a willing, but an intelligent following. The Renaissance influences were not harmful to architecture and sculpture as they were to the sister art of painting. For one reason, both architecture and sculpture were much more advanced at this period than was painting. Then the new elements of taste made their way slowly, and the old influences remained active side by side with the new.{71}

But it must be remembered that in Spain the Renaissance was never a movement from within; rather its causes were external and political. In 1504 Naples had been conquered by Spain, and at the same time the Sicilies had become an appanage of the House of Aragon. Many Spaniards of position were attracted to Italy to take part in the wars, and with them travelled native artists. At the same time Italian artists came to Spain. Another influence was the close relation which at this time existed between Spain and Rome. Then a thriving trade communication arose between the cities of the two countries, and especially was this so between the prosperous harbours of Barcelona and Genoa. The impulse of art is curiously interbound with economic causes; interchange of trade inevitably results in interchange of culture.

The charm of the new style arose from its novelty; it inspired imitation and suggested new theories of art. It found an expression chiefly in the direction of decoration, where the old sumptuousness was united with elegance and delicacy of execution. Thus the Renaissance entered Spain by numerous channels. We find many Spanish nobles employing Italian workmen to decorate their palaces; for instance, Rodrigo de Mendoza entrusted the ornamentation of the castle of Cala{72}horra to Genoese workmen in 1510. Italian marble-cutters were occupied in the production of sumptuous monumental tombs, of which some were carved at Genoa, while a still greater number were executed in Spain by Lombard and Florentine artists summoned thither for the purpose. The mural monument of Archbishop Mendoza in Seville Cathedral was executed by Miguel of Florence about 1509, and by him too is the terra-cotta relief over the Puerta del Perdon, representing the Expulsion of the Money-changers from the Temple and the Annunciation, between the large figures of St. Peter and St. Paul. The monument of P. González de Mendoza in the Capilla Mayor of Toledo Cathedral, with the Madonna in the lunette, is absolutely Florentine, and is perhaps the work of Andrea Sansovino. The Marquis de Tarifa, while on a journey to Palestine in 1520, ordered at Genoa the tomb-monuments of his parents, Enriquez and Catalina de Ribera, the richest examples of Renaissance sculpture, which are in the University Church of Seville. The altar of the Capilla de Exalas, in the cathedral of the same city, which was erected by del Río in 1539, is also of Genoese workmanship. The new style was adopted in decorative sculptures applied to doorways, façades, windows,{73} &c.; there are numerous examples, and especially is this so in the Cathedral of Toledo, which furnishes a museum of Renaissance work.

The Italian teaching was further assisted by the settlement in Spain of a family of Italian artists, Leone Leoni, Pompeo his son, and Michael the grandson, who for three generations were employed by Charles V. and Philip II. They carved for the Escorial statues of the Emperor, of Philip II., and members of the royal family, as well as the bas-reliefs of the retablo of the high altar, which Herrera had designed, and two groups in gilt-bronze placed under the tribunes to the right and left of the altar. In addition these artists executed many statues in bronze and in marble for the churches and royal palace. These works, by reason of their purity of line and beauty, exercised a beneficial and widespread influence on the native sculptors. Cean Bermudez, in Spain, unites with Vasari, in Italy, in praising the Leoni family.

One of the first Spanish artists to frequent the schools of Italy, where he is wrongly stated to have been a pupil of Donatello, was Damian Forment, a native of Valencia, who lived and worked in the fifteenth and first third of the sixteenth centuries. Donatello died in 1466, and{74} as Forment returned to Spain in 1509, when still young, he could not have been the pupil of the great Italian. But whoever was his master, he was a great artist, the most famous of the Aragonese sculptors, and his works are the purest examples of the new Italian taste. That he esteemed himself we know, for he calls himself “the rival of Phidias and Praxiteles”; while the fact that he was allowed the unusual privilege of inserting life-size medallions of himself and his wife at the base of his great altar-screens at Zaragoza and Huesca shows how high a place he held in the popular estimation.

There are four altar-screens which are known certainly to be the work of Damian Forment, but of these only two are important. The first in date is the retablo of the Virgen del Pilar at Zaragoza (Plate 74), which was begun in 1509, the year in which Forment returned from Italy, and was finished eleven years later, in 1520. It has three large bas-reliefs, surrounded by a framing, and placed under a series of pinnacles and divided by pilasters, while above is a predilla containing seven small groups. In the centre of the three large groups is an exquisitely fine Annunciation of the Virgin, and on either side are the Birth and the Purification. In{75}judicious washings have ruined the polychrome, and no traces of colour remain except on two figures placed on the right and left of the altar. From these we can judge how fine the polychrome must once have been. It is interesting to note that while the bas-reliefs and statues, with their beautiful forms and great delicacy, so different from the realistic emaciated types of the late Gothic artists, show very clearly the influence Forment had experienced from his study of the Italian masters; in the architectural decorations he remained faithful to Gothic traditions. This mingling of styles is what we must expect in Spain; it is at once the interest and the weakness of her art. Nor was Forment alone in thus clinging to the old forms, while at the same time using the new. We find the same crossing of influences in the work of all the native artists, and in this way the Spanish Renaissance retained in sculpture a certain native style of its own.

Damian Forment’s second important retablo, which was executed for the celebrated Abbey of Mount Aragon, and is now in the parish church of Huesca, is entirely Italian in sentiment and in execution. It has a sensuous charm, such as is seen in scarcely any other work of Spanish art.{76}

Forment began the screen in 1520, worked at it for thirteen years, and died, so tradition tells us, almost at once after its completion. Like the Zaragoza altar-screen, it is of alabaster. It is in three registers, and is adorned with bas-reliefs of the Bearing of the Cross, the Crucifixion, and the Descent from the Cross. Between these bas-reliefs and on the pilasters, crowned with elegant pinnacles, are figures of women of incomparable beauty and grace. Some of the figures show traces of colour, but here also the polychrome has been destroyed by washings. The medallions of Forment and his wife are on the base of the altar.

The two remaining altar-screens of Forment are less important. San Pablo at Zaragoza has a retablo carved in wood, which, though designed by Forment, was probably carried out by his pupils. It was executed about the years 1516-1520. The second altar-screen is in the parish church of Velula de Ebro.

Besides these works, the retablo in the Cathedral of Santo Domingo de la Calzada, a small town twelve miles west of Najara, has been attributed to Forment. But this is a mistake. Not only the style of the carvings but the records of the date of the work prove that it cannot be by{77} Damian Forment. The confusion has arisen from its author having the name of Forment; he seems to have been an important imagerio, or image-maker. We owe the clearing up of this error to M. Marcel Dieulafoy, to whose admirable work we once more gratefully acknowledge our debt.

The same learned authority thinks that the admirable tomb of the Marquis Vasquez de Arco, which is in an annexe of the Sigüenza Cathedral, may, in spite of certain difficulties about dates, be the work of Damian Forment. For there seems no other artist working at this time who could have executed it. Forment left a considerable fortune, which would point to there having been many anonymous works of his; his four altar-screens not being sufficient to account for the amassing of this wealth. The Sigüenza tomb is one of the earliest monuments to show the decisive influences of the Renaissance. The figure is represented reclining, the attitude is new and free, the expression of the face is charming, and all the details are carried out with great perfection. The only colour that to-day remains is the crimson cross of Santiago. Behind the tomb an inscription on a slab of marble inlaid into the wall gives the history of the young hero, who was{78} killed during one of the many sieges which preceded the conquest of Granada.

There are some very curious and very interesting bas-reliefs in the lower section of the retablo of the Royal Chapel of Granada (Plate 75) belonging to this period, which show markedly the Italian Renaissance forms. They depict the Surrender of the City and the Baptism of the Moors. Unfortunately the author of these works is unknown.

In 1520, the same year in which Forment began the altar-screen of Huesca, a Catalan artist, Bartolomé Ordóñez, went to Geneva to chisel from Carrara marble the tomb of Cardinal Ximénez, which is now in the Cathedral of Alcalá de Henares, but was formerly in the University Chapel of the city. The tomb had been already designed by the Florentine Domenico Alexandro, but on his death in 1520 Ordóñez was chosen to complete it. With him worked two Genoese artists, Thomas Forne and Adam Wibaldo, and Ordóñez assimilated so completely the Italian style that on his return to Spain he became one of the chief channels for introducing the new forms.

This explains how it is that the Spaniard’s chief works have been ascribed to his Florentine master, Domenico Alexandro. These are the funeral monu{79}ments of Ferdinand and Isabella, the Catholic sovereigns, in the Royal Chapel of Granada (Plate 76), and that of Don Juan, their only son, which is in the Church of St. Thomas at Avila (Plate 77). This last monument is of great purity and beauty of style. Domenico Alexandro died in 1520, two years before the Granada tombs were executed. A recent discovery noted by M. Marcel Dieulafoy of three names of those who presided at the mounting of the monuments, all of whom belonged to the studio of Ordóñez, gives further proof that we owe these splendid funeral monuments to him. There is confusion about all the works of this great sculptor. It is probable that he was the author of the tombs of Philip the Handsome and Juana la Loca, which are also in Granada’s Royal Chapel; while many anonymous sculptures of this date, as well as others that have been assigned to the early Renaissance artists, may well be his work. But the question of attributions, always difficult, is especially so in the case of an artist who, like Bartolomé Ordóñez, assumes a style typical of his period.

The most famous of the early Renaissance artists was Philip Vigarni, better known by his surname Borgoña. He was of Burgundian origin, but a{80} native of Burgos, and he spent his life in the country of his birth. We hear of him first in the year 1500, gaining a competition to execute the great retablo of the Tras-Sagrario in the Cathedral of Burgos.

The Tras-Sagrario altar-screen is the largest retablo in Spain, probably in the world (Plates 78-80). It is made entirely of larch wood, and is in five storeys, each having four compartments, which are decorated with elaborately carved bas-reliefs of the Passion and scenes from the life of the Virgin. Above is a colossal crucifix. The numerous niches and pinnacles contain a veritable crowd of prophets and saints. The style is flamboyant Gothic, for, like Forment, Philip Borgoña did not use Renaissance forms until later in his career. He had as his collaborators Alfonso Sanchez, and his fellow-competitors Sebastian Almonacid, Peti Juan, Diego Copin of Holland, and seventeen other sculptors of renown. Enrique Egas, master architect of the cathedral, and Pietro Gumiel, architect of the archbishopric, directed and looked after the construction. The polychrome was entrusted to Juan de Borgoña, the Toledan painter, and brother of Philip, and he was assisted by Francesco di Amberos, Fernando del Rincon, and others. With the aid of these numerous{81} collaborators the altar-screen was completed in four years, and was inaugurated in 1505. In spite of the merit of its carvings, its great architectural merits, and the profusion and beauty of its colour and gilding, the general effect of the retablo is disappointing. It is too large. Standing near to it, the eye cannot embrace its multitude of detail, while at a distance the parts become confused and lost. It is a splendid and surprising monument, and it is very Spanish, but it is unsatisfying as a work of art.

The real talent of Philip de Borgoña is seen best in the admirable bas-reliefs in the Tras-Sagrario at the back of the Grand Altar. In the first, Jesus goes out of Jerusalem to Calvary, accompanied by St. Veronica, who dries his face, wet with drops of blood and sweat, and by St. Simon, who helps to carry the Cross; the second depicts the Crucifixion; the third is in two compartments, which show the Descent from the Cross and the Resurrection (Plate 81). Two bas-reliefs on either side are of a later date, belonging to the seventeenth century; they are the work of Alonso de Rios.

It was after the execution of these works at Burgos that Philip de Borgoña underwent his artistic evolution and embraced Italian forms.{82} Whence the influence came we do not know; perhaps it was from Alonso Berruguete, for Philip de Borgoña would seem never to have left Spain.

The great work of his late years was carving the thirty-five stalls on the Epistle side of the choir of Toledo Cathedral, the stalls on the Gospel side being by Alonso Berruguete (Plates 82-98). The carvings of Borgoña are more delicate and more finished, while those of Berruguete show more creative talent and are more Spanish in their sentiment. Of these truly marvellous choir-stalls Théophile Gautier says: “L’art Gothique, sur les confins de la Renaissance, n’a rien produit de plus parfait ni de mieux dessiné.” In his Toledo Pintoresca, Amardor thus begins his description of the stalls: “Portent of Spanish art, in which two great geniuses of our golden century competed, the victory to our own times remains undecided, and astounded the judges who have endeavoured to give their opinion on this matter.” The bas-reliefs represent scenes from the Old and New Testament, and the single statues are of prophets, apostles, and saints. They are carved of walnut wood, separated by jasper and alabaster pillars.

M. Marcel Dieulafoy has pointed out the singular resemblance between the figures in these choir-{83}stalls and those in the altar-screen in the Capilla del Condestable of Burgos Cathedral. It seems probable that we owe this fine work to Philip de Borgoña, or at least that it was produced in his studio. It is adorned with numerous reliefs and statues. The scene of the central panel, with life-size figures, depicts the Presentation in the Temple, and is charming by reason of its naïve realism and the beauty of the heads. This altar-screen gains a further importance from the richness of its polychromes.

Philip de Borgoña’s last work was the large retablo of the Capilla Real at Granada, with the statuettes of Ferdinand and Isabella kneeling. The reliefs, carved in wood in two sections, are of great historical interest (Plate 103). To the left is Boabdil surrendering the keys of the Alhambra, while that to the right represents the Baptism of the Moors by Spanish monks. Philip de Borgoña died in 1543.

The Italian Renaissance became more universal and more strongly marked in the works of the sculptors that followed. This was due to the influence of Michael Angelo, which in the sixteenth century, in Spain, attained a power elsewhere unknown outside of Italy. There was a special reason for this. The great Italian’s work appealed{84} to the Spanish seriousness, to their strong dramatic instinct, and to the deeply emotional character which has always marked their art.

Alonso Berruguete, sculptor, painter, and architect, stands as the representative of this Michael-Angelesque influence, and his work is typical of the manner of his period, especially of the grotesque style which grew out of the Italian, and must be associated with his name. Berruguete was born at Paredes de Nava about the year 1480. He was the son of Pedro Berruguete, the king’s painter, from whom he received his first lessons in art. On his father’s death he went to Italy, where he at once became the pupil of Michael Angelo. Proof of his ability is given by the fact that the Italian master confided to him the copying of the celebrated Pisan cartoon which he had designed for the city. Later Berruguete accompanied Michael Angelo to Rome. He made such progress that Bramanti, following the advice of Raphael, chose him out of many competitors to make a copy of the Laocoön to be cast in bronze. He also completed a St. Jerome by Filippino Lippi.

This is all we know of Berruguete’s sojourn in Rome. In 1520 he returned to Spain, when Charles V. appointed him royal sculptor and painter. This position gave him great power. He{85} worked for the emperor at Valladolid and Madrid, and all the great towns of Spain—Toledo, Zaragoza, Salamanca, Granada—competed for his services. In this way his influence was widespread, and all that he had learnt in Italy became known to the native artists. From Michael Angelo Berruguete acquired the power and vigour that distinguishes all his best work, but at the same time he retained his own personality and was faithful to national traditions. It was his Spanish temperament, with its tendency to over-emphasis, and not his imitation of Michael Angelo, which caused the violent attitudes and exaggerated gestures which characterise many of his works.

Among the numerous altar-screens which Berruguete carved, either entirely or in part, the most important was that of San Benito el Real at Valladolid, some fragments of which remain in the museum of the city. The choir-stalls of the monastery, also in the museum, which are often mistakenly attributed to Berruguete, were carved by Andres de Najera in 1520, a contemporary sculptor, too little known, if we may judge by the power and beauty of these choir-stalls (Plates 104-111). Carved in wood, they do not appear ever to have been painted. Najera has also left excellent carvings in the Cathe{86}drals of Calahorra and of Santo Domingo de la Calzada.

The contracts for the altar-screen of San Benito, signed in 1526, show that Berruguete undertook “to carve and finish with his own hands the heads and feet of the statues.” This gives special importance to these works, for the execution of many of Berruguete’s carvings was left to his pupils. The most beautiful of the figures is that of St. Sebastian (Plate 113). It is one of the finest possible examples of polychrome. The flesh-tints are subdued, the face somewhat warmer in colour than the body, with skilful touches of carmine on the lips, nostrils, ears, and eyelids. The eyebrows are light, the hair red-brown. Some drops of blood show upon the wounds. The general effect is powerful and true to life.

There are some fine bas-reliefs; among them we may mention the Sacrifice of Abraham and the Adoration of the Magi (Plate 113); the heads of the Virgin and the Child Christ in the second panel are splendid examples of Berruguete’s art. Two more panels show the Birth of Christ and the Flight into Egypt, and in these again Berruguete’s special personality makes strong appeal; and hardly less powerful are the panels, with gold backgrounds, of the two Evan{87}gelists, St. Mark and St. Matthew. All these bas-reliefs are coloured.

Berruguete has left many noteworthy tombs. The monument of Archbishop Tavera, in the Afuera Hospital at Toledo, is generally accounted his masterpiece (Plate 114). But this tomb, carved in his old age—it was Berruguete’s last work—is not really finer than many of his other monuments. The bas-reliefs on the sarcophagus are mannered, and suggest an over-excited imagination. It seems probable that the Toledo tomb owes its fame rather to its being better known than to the superiority of its execution. A finer example of Berruguete’s works in marble, according to M. Marcel Dieulafoy, are the tombs of Don Juan de Rojas and his wife the Marquesa de Poza, in the Church of San Pablo at Palencia. The kneeling figures of the Marquis and his wife, with the fine heads of strongly marked character, prove Berruguete an accomplished carver of portraits in marble. The bas-reliefs, and the numerous figures of saints, evangelists, and angels, are vigorously carved; especially fine is the form of God the Father, which dominates the whole. The monumental tomb of San Jeronimo at Granada, which has been attributed to the Italian Pedro Torrigiano, and also to Ber{88}ruguete’s successor, Gaspar Becerra, is almost certainly the work of Berruguete (Plate 115). This is the opinion of M. Marcel Dieulafoy. It furnishes a different expression of Berruguete’s powers, and is one of the most characteristically Spanish of his works. Of a similar character to the Palencia tombs, and worthy of notice, are the excellent portrait-bust of the engineer Juanelo Turriano, in the Convent of San Juan de los Reyes at Toledo, the statue-tomb of St. Secundus, Bishop of Avila, in the Church of San Secundo in that city (Plate 116), and the busts of the archbishops which adorn the retablo of the Colegio del Arzobispo at Salamanca. The student of Berruguete should visit his native town Paredes de Nava, where numerous carvings are preserved in the Church of Santa Eulalia, for in these early works we see how carefully he studied the antique. In the wooden panels in the sacristy of Mercia Cathedral we notice again the over-excited imagination which was the defect of Berruguete’s work. Much finer is the retablo of Santa Barbara in the sacristy of the Cathedral of Avila. It is carved in alabaster and coloured; the finest of the reliefs represents the Scourging of Christ, a subject specially suitable to Berruguete’s power.

The influence of Berruguete was decisive and{89} widespread, and a number of native carvers and sculptors arose who were either his pupils or imitated his style.

Gaspar de Tordesillas, born at the end of the fifteenth century, is reputed to have been a pupil of Berruguete, and the vigour of his style, shown chiefly in the attitudes and movements of his figures, and in the folds of his draperies, supports this pupilship. He was first an entallador, or carver in wood, and afterwards escultor—sculptor—an artist of higher rank. He carved in wood a small retablo for the parish church of Simancas, a small town near to Valladolid, which Antonio Vasquez, another native artist, coloured in oils. As an escultor Tordesillas executed many important works, among them the fine statue of San Benito (Plate 117), now in the Museum of Valladolid, and also two altar-screens for the old monastery of San Benito.

Many of the works of Tordesillas have been attributed to his better-known contemporary Juan de Juni, the extravagant follower of Berruguete’s style. The altar-screens in the Church of Santiago and the Church of San Francisco at Valladolid—the first representing the Adoration of the Magi and the other the Entombment of Christ—are all the work of Tordesillas. M.{90} Marcel Dieulafoy’s verdict of this little known carver is that he was “a great artist.”

Francisco Giralte, a sculptor of Palencia, who, like so many of the Spanish artists of this period, studied in Italy, was the principal collaborator with Berruguete in carving the celebrated choir-stalls of Toledo Cathedral. The last of the works which he executed alone is the altar-screen, formerly in the chapel of the Obispo, Palencia Cathedral, but now at Madrid. This screen is described and highly praised by Ponz in his Viage de España. The polychrome was carried out by Juan de Villodo, under the direction of Francisco de Vilalpando, an able architect of Palencia. Giralte carved many other retablos, and was assisted by Juan Manzano and other carvers. The most important of his works are the altar-screen of Cardinal Ximénez, that of the Monastery of Valbuena, the great altar at Espinar, another for the parish church of Pozeido, and finally the retablo of the Corral’s chapel in the Church of the Magdalena, Valladolid, remarkable for its bas-reliefs, but unsatisfying in its whole effect on account of the poverty of composition. Giralte died in 1576.

Esteban Jordan was the contemporary of {91}Giralte. He was born at the beginning of the sixteenth century and died in 1598 or 1599. We read that Berruguete was the godfather of his son, which seems to suggest an intimate relationship, if not pupilship, between the two artists. But Jordan has very little of the vigorous style of Berruguete. Like Giralte, he was a carver of second-rate merit, who attained fame in his lifetime, but was afterwards forgotten. His best works are the retablo of Santa Maria Magdalena at Valladolid and the tomb of Archbishop Don Pedro Gasco in the same church.

Another Spaniard who learnt his art in Italy was Tudelilla, a native of Tarragona. He was born at the end of the fifteenth century, and after studying in Italy, in 1527 returned to Spain, in which year we find him charged with the construction and decoration of the choir enclosure of Zaragoza Cathedral (Plate 118). The style in which it is carried out is known in Spain as Plateresque, a name derived from plateros, or silver-work, and applied to this form of carving from its elegance and delicacy of execution. The choir is composed of twelve highly ornamented columns, which have a frieze and pediments of delicate workmanship. In the centre is placed a Crucifixion, while between the columns and on either side are statues of saints and four bas-reliefs representing{92} scenes in the lives of St. Vincent and St. Valere, the patrons of the church. In Spain it is held in great estimation, but it must be admitted that the decoration is mannered and of a professional stamp. Tudelilla was largely employed by the nobility of Zaragoza in the decoration of their palaces. We read in contemporary writers of the splendour of these buildings, but almost without exception they have been destroyed. It was the common custom at this period of artistic wealth to lavish large sums on the decoration with statues and sculpture of both the outside and the interior of private dwellings. Wherever these palaces remain they should be studied, as they contain many fine examples of Spanish carving.

Among other carvers who were the contemporaries of Berruguete we may mention Diego Morlanes, who completed the portal of the convent church of Santa Engracia at Zaragoza, which was begun by his father Juan in 1505, while a further example of his sumptuous style is the chapel of St. Bernard in the cathedral, with the monument of Archbishop Fernando of Aragon and his mother. Juan de Talavere and Etienne Veray executed the sumptuous portal of the Church of the Virgin at Calatayud; Diego de Riaño and Martin Gainoza worked at Seville, and their carvings in the{93} Sacristia Mayor and in the Capilla Real of the cathedral illustrate the elaborate and fantastic forms in which the native workers now took increasing delight. Of greater importance are Juan Rodriguez and Gerónimo Pellicier, who executed the retablo of the Monastery del Parral at Segovia (Plate 119).

All these sculptors and carvers were in greater or less degree imitators of Berruguete. We have in addition numerous anonymous works, some of splendid merit. The enumeration of these carvings would fill a separate volume. Burgos, Seville, and many churches are veritable museums of polychrome sculpture; while many churches, such, for instance, as the Convent of Poblet, now robbed and left bare, were formerly treasure-houses of sculptures. The limit of space makes it impossible to do justice to this multitude of work. The epoch was marked by a wealth of production which shows the enthusiasm that then prevailed for the plastic arts.

The history of Spanish sculpture would be incomplete did we omit to mention the Custodias which almost no large church in Spain is without. These idealistic tower-like structures, always wrought in silver and finely carved, are the great architectural achievements of the metal-workers.{94} The first examples belong to the Gothic period. The Custodia of the Cathedral of Gerona, richly adorned with enamels and precious stones, is one of the most beautiful, while another of almost equal merit is that of Barcelona. The sixteenth century was the great period for the production of these silver works, and this was due mainly to the talented Arfes, a Spanish family of German origin, who produced Custodias for most of the important cathedrals. To Enrique de Arfe (1470-1550), the first of the family, we owe the Custodias of Cordova and Toledo; these works are in the late Gothic style. But the most celebrated member of the family was Juan Arfes, the grandson of Enrique, who was born about the middle and died at the close of the sixteenth century. He was the creator of the celebrated Custodia of Avila (Plate 120). He also executed two Custodias for the city of Valladolid—one for the Convent of Carmel and the other for the cathedral. This work bears an inscription, “Juan de Arfe y Villafañe, f. MDXC.,” and the price paid for it was 1,518,092 maravedis. At about the same time he made another Custodia for the Cathedral of Burgos, and yet another for that of Seville. Besides excelling as a silversmith, Juan was an{95} excellent carver of statues, though he always used the title escultor de plata y oro (sculptor of gold and silver). His skill as a sculptor is proved by the group of Adam and Eve, which was executed to occupy the centre of the first stage of the Valladolid Custodia, but is now on the pedestal. His greatest sculptured piece was the kneeling statue of Cristobal de Royas y Sandoval, Archbishop of Seville, in the Church of San Pedro de Lerma at Burgos (Plates 121 and 122). Juan died before the completion of the work, which was finished by Fernandez del Moral, under the direction of Pompeo Leoni; and for this reason this splendid monument for long has been wrongly attributed to Leoni.

With the silversmiths we may class the orfrays, or embroiderers, who at this time attained a position of great importance. Cean Bermudez praises especially Marcos Covarrubias, the master embroiderer of Toledo Cathedral, who in 1514 carried out the beautiful decorations of Cardinal Cisneros’ monument. Other celebrated “embroiderers” were Gabriel Carvajal of Seville Cathedral, and a French Hieronimite monk named Monserrate, who settled in Spain in the sixteenth century and worked for the monastery of the Escorial. He was a master of the delicate{96} art of “needlework in stone.” Nor must we forget the Spanish metal-workers, who wrought the exquisite railings in the cathedrals of Burgos, Seville, Salamanca, Toledo, Pampeluna, and elsewhere, which are masterpieces of art. These works, besides flowers, foliage, and decorations, contain medallions of men’s and women’s heads, sometimes oxidised, but often gilded and polychromed. For this reason, if for nothing else, these church railings must be studied by those who wish to know the Spanish polychromes. These small medallions are carried out with exquisite delicacy and beauty.{97}



After the middle of the sixteenth century a change came, or rather, a further step was taken in the use of Italian forms, and a style was evolved which may be said with sufficient accuracy to correspond to the developed Renaissance of Italy.

Gaspar Becerra was now the most prominent sculptor in Spain. Like Berruguete, whose rival and true successor he was, he received his artistic training in Italy; like him, too, he was a painter and architect as well as sculptor. It is said that Becerra worked in the studio of Michael Angelo, but Vasari, whose pupil he was, does not count him among the disciples of the great Florentine. He was born at Baeza, a small town in the kingdom of Jaen, in 1520. He was still quite young when he went to Italy. In Rome he{98} gained a position of importance working under the leadership of his master, Vasari, and under Daniele da Volterra in the Trinita de Monti, decorating in the Cancelleria. His skill in drawing, especially the human figure, was great, and he furnished the plates for Valverde’s “Anatomy,” printed in Rome in 1554. We know also that he was married in Rome in 1556. Five years later he returned to Spain, and like his predecessor he became painter and sculptor to Philip II. Becerra worked at the decoration of the Pardo palace, and painted frescoes in the Alcazar of Madrid, which were destroyed in the fire of 1734; in addition he designed, sculptured, and painted the altar-screen of the Convent of Dèscalzas Reales in the same city, working for the Infanta Doña Maria, while for the Queen, Doña Isabel de la Paz, he sculptured the statue of Nuestra Señora de la Solitude, which is worshipped in the chapel of the Minime fathers. This position as Court artist caused Becerra’s services to be eagerly sought, and carvings and paintings of his will be found at Zamora, Valladolid, Zaragoza, Burgos, Salamanca, and elsewhere. His masterpiece, and his last work, is the retablo in the Church of Astorga, on which he worked from 1550 to 1569. He died at Madrid in 1571,{99} when still young and in the height of his activity and power.

The merit of Becerra’s work is a feeling for ideal beauty, unusual in Spain, united with dignity and, to some degree, with strength. All his sculptures are in the style of Michael Angelo; and this has led to a confusion between his carvings and those of Berruguete. But this is a mistake. Berruguete, though a follower of Michael Angelo, was Spanish with a strong national accent, while Becerra was an Italian, completely renouncing the national traditions in favour of Renaissance forms. For this reason his work is far less important than that of his predecessor; it also opened the road for the degeneration of native sculpture. Becerra made the study of Michael Angelo and the antique the substitute for a study of nature, and possessing a happy knack of pleasing the eye, he was content to be an imitator, and therefore added nothing to Spanish sculpture.

A good example of Becerra’s art, and his best single carving, is the small polychrome bas-relief of St Jerome in the Desert (Plate 123) in the side altar of the Capilla del Condestable at Burgos. There are several copies of this statue, for, like many imitators, Becerra repeated his works; one, in white marble, is in the Church of{100} San Pedro at Huesca. On account of its likeness to the St. Jerome, M. Marcel Dieulafoy attributes to Becerra the statue of the prophet Elias in Santo Tomás at Toledo, the church that contains the masterpiece of El Greco. The retablo at Astorga, Becerra’s most important work, is an imposing erection, much praised in Spain. The effect is pleasing, but a closer examination leaves the spectator unsatisfied; the statues and carvings are all modelled on Renaissance types, and are without individuality. Still this retablo must not be neglected; it is a good example of estofado sculpture.

Contemporary with Berruguete worked Juan de Juni, who carried the Michael Angelo following to its furthest and most exaggerated development. Little is known about this artist; even his nationality is uncertain, some accounting him a Spaniard, others an Italian, or even a Fleming. Bermudez thinks he was an Italian. But though a pupil and close imitator of Michael Angelo, Juni, if not born in Spain, became a Spaniard by temperament and adoption, as the style of his work proves. In his carvings we find that search for expression at any cost, leading to exaggerated gestures and an over-accentuation of detail, as for example in depicting the sorrows of the Christ by gaping wounds{101} and the presence of blood—by which the Spanish artists sought to give dramatic reality to their religious representation. It is this that has caused Juni to be so highly estimated in Spain.

The details of Juni’s life are fragmentary and contradictory. For long he was said to have been born during the second half of the sixteenth century, and to have died at the beginning of the seventeenth century. In reality he lived earlier, and was born in 1507, while he died at Valladolid in April 1577. We hear of him first about the middle of the sixteenth century, when the Archbishop of Portugal summoned him from Rome to superintend the building and decoration of the Episcopal palace at Oporto. This he did, as well as constructing other buildings in the city. Afterwards he went to Osuna, then to Santoyo, and finally to Valladolid, where he settled, and remained until his death.

Juni has left a great amount of work, and his statues and bas-reliefs, always easily recognised, will be found in the churches and convents of Osuna, Segovia, Valladolid, Santoyo, Aranda de Douro, and Salamanca. His best-known altar-screen is the Descent from the Cross in Segovia Cathedral (Plate 124). In this surprising work we have well displayed both the qualities and defects of{102} Juni’s talents. Instead of the decoration being carried out in compartments, the carvings are in isolated groups, a change in construction which was the greatest service that Juni rendered to Spanish sculpture. The figures are all life-size; the finest is that of the Christ, which has real dignity, and is without exaggeration. The agitation and grief of the Virgin and the holy women is too much emphasised, while the attitudes of the fantastically attired soldiers placed on either side are so accentuated that one is left with a consciousness of insincerity. The dramatic power becomes theatrical and unreal. Contrast this Descent from the Cross with Berruguete’s rendering of the same scene in San Geronimo at Granada, and this becomes abundantly evident. The restraint in the latter work is strength, while Juni’s scene, with its over-acclamation, ends in weakness. But in Spain the Segovia screen is highly treasured. It is brilliantly coloured. We have no proof that Juni himself polychromed his statues, but we know that he was a painter of great talent, and the harmony which exists between his models and the colouring seems to prove that he must have superintended the polychrome. Documentary evidence shows that in some cases, at any rate, the colourisation was{103} done in his studio, under his direction, and that he himself painted the faces, the hands, and the feet of his figures.

The same model of the Segovia Christ can be recognised in another work of Juni’s, the Burial of Christ, executed for the Convent of San Francesco at Valladolid, and now in the city museum (Plate 125). Here we have an even stronger example of Juni’s art, in which the conception of woe is depicted with greater extravagance, and with what appears to us as futile exaggeration of the details of sorrow. Death is shown with startling reality in the body of the Christ, which is rigid with the muscles already contracted, and the reality is carried further by the colouring; the limbs and the face are mottled with livid stains. Blood flows from the wounds, which are laid open. The body is horrible with the sense of human corruption. The figures of the Virgin, St. John, and the Magdalen all express passionate and over-emphatic sorrow. But the work is perfectly sincere; to doubt this is to misunderstand the nature of Spanish art. It is the quality that meets us so often; a too dramatic, too emphatic effort to realise a scene exactly as it happened.

Another carving in the same style, with the same faults and the same qualities, is the Virgin of{104} the Swords in the monastery Capilla de Nuestra Señora de las Agustinas, also at Valladolid. It must be remembered that these works can be appreciated only by the student who understands Spanish art. Certainly Juni is more Spanish than Italian.

Juan de Juni opened the way for his successor Gregorio Hernandez, the sculptor who may be said to have inherited, and afterwards personally expressed, all that his predecessors had accomplished. For the great difference between Juni, Becerra, and even Berruguete and the great master of Galicia is that they, in greater or less degree, were content with imitation, while he, warned possibly by their extravagances, studied nature with patient care, and said what he had to say for himself, and in this way he purged the plastic art of scholastic mannerisms. This is why Gregorio Hernandez occupies the most important position in the history of Northern Spanish sculpture.

Gregorio Hernandez did not study in Italy, indeed it has been said that he never went from Valladolid. But this is a mistake. He studied and worked in that city, but we know that he was married in Madrid, and that in 1604 he was in Vittoria, executing the altar-screen for the Church of San Miguel. No actual mention is made of Hernandez{105}’ residence in Valladolid before the year 1605, when in certain contracts we find that he acted as assistant sculptor to the Italian artist Millan Vilmercati. M. Marcel Dieulafoy places the date of his first coming to Valladolid about 1601, the year in which a number of famous artists were summoned to the royal city by Philip II. and the Duke of Lerma.

Of the life of Hernandez we know few details. He was born in Galicia in 1570, a date furnished by the inscription on his portrait, now in the Museum of Valladolid. He died in 1636 at the age of sixty-six, as is shown by the register in the archives of the Church of San Ildefonso. It would seem that he never left Spain. His first known work undertaken as a sculptor was the altar-screen of San Miguel at Vittoria, but he must have executed earlier carvings, as is proved by the payments made for this work—4208 reals for the sculpture, and over 604 reals for the statues in relief—and also by the importance of the position he occupied. Hernandez directed the whole work, choosing as his assistants the master-carpenter Cristobal Velazquez, and the painters Francesco Martinez and Pedro de Salazar.

The activity of Hernandez was very great. From the date of this altar-screen we have a vast{106} number of carvings executed, or supposed to have been executed by him. His studio became the centre of the artistic activities of his day, for the amount of his work necessitated the employment of assistants. This has led to confusion, and there are many carvings attributed to Hernandez which cannot be accepted as the work of his own hand. It is fortunate that the distinctive qualities of his work make it possible to recognise at once those carvings and statues that have been fathered on his name. Hernandez placed special importance on the colourisation of his statues. In an interesting contract made with his habitual polychromist, Diego Valentin Diaz, we find the most minute details laid down, enforcing the care with which the work is to be carried out. The colours chosen “are to be those which are permanent”; “the flesh must be mate,” as, it will be remembered, was enforced by Pacheco, and “in each case the colouring must be suitable to the model painted,” as, for example, “Jesus the tint of an infant, the Virgin that of a young woman, St. Joseph that of a man,” while “the hair and eyes must also be in harmony.” Also, “gilded stuffs and damasked are to be avoided,” and “gold is to be used sparingly on laces and fringes only.” The effect to be aimed at is harmony and{107} truth to nature. It is by this restriction to a sombre and quiet scheme of colour, so different from the startling and tumultuous effects, glittering with gold, of Juni, for instance, that the polychromes of Hernandez may be recognised. His colours, always quiet, give an effect of having been worked on silver or ivory. The polychromes that do not manifest these tones are not by Hernandez; when they bear his name they must have been executed by his pupils apart from his direction. Examples of such spurious works are the immense and highly coloured Sta. Teresa in the Valladolid Museum, and also the Pasos, or groups from the Passion, highly praised by the Spanish writers and used in the religious processions of Valladolid, which have been attributed, certainly erroneously, to Hernandez.

Authentic works of Hernandez may be seen, first in the churches, convents, and museum of Valladolid, and also at Madrid, Palencia, Vittoria, Salamanca, Zamora, Pontevedra, Medina del Campo, and other towns. But in no case must the attribution to Hernandez be accepted without an examination of the works themselves. Those which do not display his qualities, especially in their colourisation, must be accounted as the work of his pupils.{108}

Hernandez continued the practice of Juni in carving his statues as separate figures or in isolated groups. Almost without exception he used wood as his material.

The Museum of Valladolid contains at least three authentic statues by Hernandez. The most important is the Pietà, executed for one of the dispersed convents of the city, a beautiful example of polychrome (Plate 126). The Virgin, whose sorrow is genuinely expressed, with dignity and without exaggeration, supports the dead Christ, a pallid figure finely suggesting death. She wears a red-brown robe partly covered by a blue mantle. The winding-sheet and her veil are white, and also the band attached to the Cross, and are coloured so skilfully that the texture of the stuffs is clearly discernible. M. Marcel Dieulafoy justly says: “The grace and freedom of the modelling is only equalled by the variety and discreet harmony of the painting.” The bas-relief of the Baptism of Christ (Plate 127), though very different, is a work of equal merit, but it has suffered greatly from the damage of time, which has especially injured the beauty of the polychrome. The St. John is a splendid figure of energy and savage strength, and in strong contrast with the Christ, and the con{109}trast is emphasised by the skilful colouring, the complexion of the prophet being browned by exposure to the sun, while that of the Christ is of delicate harmony. The third statue represents St. Francis (Plate 128), a fine and harmonious work. It is coloured in sombre shades, almost monochrome, which speaks for Hernandez’ authorship.

To Hernandez also is attributed the reliquary bust of St. Elizabeth in the museum. It is a work of supreme merit, but the polychrome is too brilliant to make it easy to accept it as the work of Hernandez. The vivid orange-brown of the cape with the blue lining, the violet-purple of the turban, the gleaming white of the veil, and the gold tracery of the breast ornament are not the accustomed tones of the Galician master. But though the statue is probably not by Hernandez—and this is the opinion of M. Marcel Dieulafoy—it is a splendid example of polychrome.

The most famed work of Hernandez is the Mater Dolorosa, preserved and most carefully guarded in the Capilla de la Cruz at Valladolid. The representation is very Spanish in its frank and detailed statement of sorrow. Probably no one who is not Spanish can wholly appreciate the statue. The tears, made of glass set in wood, the{110} reflected stains of blood on the yellow robe and on the sleeves, the pallid face and colourless lips, the deep-set eyes made tragic with bistre rings, the emphasised attitude especially of the hands, do not appeal to those to whom the divine tragedy represented is not a living reality—a part of human life, not an incident of belief. It is necessary to take notice of these things in judging the most Spanish of Spanish sculptures. In this Virgin Hernandez is nearer to Juan de Juni, but his representation of the Mother of Sorrows is much simpler, much nearer to nature—Spanish nature, not our nature, let it be remembered—and therefore his work leaves a deeper and more lasting impression. The Christ at the Column in the Convent of the Carmelites at Avila is another statue of a similar character which is attributed to Hernandez.

The influence of Gregorio Hernandez was far-reaching, and the native sculptors of the seventeenth century, not only in Valladolid but also in the newly-founded school of Madrid, followed in his traditions. Certainly it was his work, with its strong national accent, its sincerity and close following of nature, which in the Northern schools saved Spanish sculpture in large measure from the degradation which, at the close of the{111} seventeenth century, fell upon the sister art of painting.

Gregorio Hernandez had many pupils. We have mentioned Cristobal Velazquez, the master-carpenter who worked with him on the altar-screen of Vittoria. It is probable that he became the pupil of the Galician master. To Cristobal Velazquez must be attributed the beautiful altar-screen of the Church of Las Agustinas at Valladolid, which has been falsely ascribed to Berruguete and to Pompeo Leoni. The references made to Cristobal Velazquez in the contracts for the work, and the fact that he was charged with the “looking over and passing” of the screen after it had been set up, prove his authorship. No mention either of Berruguete or Pompeo Leoni is given, an omission unaccountable if these great artists had participated in the work, when the painters and sculptors are all carefully named. This altar-piece proves that Cristobal Velazquez was a great artist. In the central bas-relief of the Annunciation the Virgin kneels, while the Angel Gabriel, a figure of supreme beauty and nobility, stands upon her right side. Above is a fine Pietà, and to the right and left are the figures of St. Augustin and St. Laurent; while beneath are statuettes of the Evangelists, with two small{112} panels on either side, one of St. Joseph and the Child Jesus, the other of St. Ursula. The architecture, the ornaments, and figures are all finely executed, and the work is one of great beauty and harmony. Unfortunately the colouring, which was carried out by the painter Prado, an artist of great local celebrity who had already decorated the Chapel of Las Huelgas, Burgos, has become so blackened with age that it is difficult to judge its primitive merit.

Two sculptors intimately associated with Gregorio Hernandez were Luis de Llamosa, who completed many of his master’s unfinished works, and Juan Francisco de Hibarne, his favourite pupil, to whom he gave his daughter Damiana in marriage. Carvings by these artists will be found in several of the churches of Valladolid.

But of greater fame was the Portuguese sculptor Manuel Pereyra, who, though reported to have studied in Italy, must certainly have been the pupil of Hernandez, if we may judge from the testimony of his works. They show no trace of Italian influence, and are inspired by the earnestness of Spanish devotion. We first hear of Pereyra in May 1646, when he carved in stone the statue of San Felipe for the convent of the saint at Valladolid. His reputation grew rapidly, and his statue{113} of St. Bruno, executed for the Hostel of the Chartreuse del Paula, set the seal to his fame. The statue was so greatly admired that it is said that King Philip IV. ordered his coachman, on passing the door, to slacken the pace so that he might admire it at leisure. There is a fine replica of the St. Bruno in the Chartreuse of Miraflores. Like Hernandez, Pereyra used quiet colours, without gilding or damask effects. In his last years Pereyra became blind, but this calamity does not seem to have interfered with his carving. He died in 1667.

It would seem to be by the aid of Manuel Pereyra that the influence of Gregorio Hernandez was carried to Madrid. But in this work he was supported by Alonso de los Rios, a carver of intelligence, taste, and skill, who was born in Valladolid about 1650, and who early went to Madrid. In his studio worked Juan de Villanueva and his two sons Juan and Alfonso Rios, who directed the art of carving in the capital during the first years of the eighteenth century. Afterwards in the studio of Rios worked Luis Salvador Carmona, whose talent was so marked that on the death of his master he became its director. Under his guidance the Madrid school became so famous that Ferdinand VI. in 1752 transformed it into the{114} Royal Academy of San Fernando. The greater number of Carmona’s carvings are at Madrid. They are single statues and bas-reliefs. He does not appear to have carved an altar-screen. For altar-screens, that had been required by the churches, had now fallen in the popular esteem, due to a weakening of the strong religious impulses that for so long had directed the expression of art. Carmona also executed forty-two small statues for the parish of Seguro in Biscay. But his finest works are his two statues at Salamanca. Both are in the cathedral—one, a Pietà, known as La Dolorosa, in the Capilla de San José (Plate 131); the other, a Flagellation of the Christ (Plate 132), is in the sacristy. These realistic and emotional groups are the works by which Carmona must be judged. They witness that he had through his masters inherited the traditions of Gregorio Hernandez, though his work is less sincere and without the Galician master’s fine truth to nature. In Spain Carmona is accounted a master, but this praise is too high. This much may be granted to him: his works have great, even surprising, merit when we take into consideration the period at which they were executed.

If the influence of Gregorio Hernandez speaks{115} in the artists we have just considered, it is to the influence of the impassioned and dramatic Juan de Juni we must turn to account for those tragic representations of severed heads of martyrs, depicted with such strange delight in all the details of horror and putrefaction, of which we find many examples belonging to the late seventeenth century. Such heads, representing most frequently St. John the Baptist, St. Paul, or St. Anastasius, may be seen in many places—Nuestra Señora del Pilar at Zaragoza, the cathedral and hospital church at Granada, and the Monastery of Santa Clara at Seville are a few examples. The Museum of Valladolid possesses two heads of St. Paul. The finer one, taken from the Convent of St. Paul, is the work of Alonso Villabrille, a sculptor of Madrid who lived at the end of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth centuries. It is perhaps the best example of these astonishing heads (Plate 133). The polychrome is carried out with great care, and the horror of the dissevered head is lessened by the beard which shields the severed neck.

The influence of Gregorio Hernandez did much to stay the deterioration which now, at the end of the seventeenth century, threatened the plastic arts of Northern Spain. The baroque style was{116} introduced with disastrous results, and we find the ugly, overloaded, exaggerated decoration known as Churriguera. Perhaps the greatest evil was the destruction of many of the old Gothic and classic altar-screens, with their beautiful polychrome statues. Images were carved with apparatus for moving the head and eyes, and the mouth. These figures were really wooden dolls, with real hair and real dresses, in which only the head and hands were carved: they mark the lowest level of the plastic arts. A notorious example is the Transparente in the Cathedral of Toledo, executed by Narciso Tomé in 1752.

It is remarkable that side by side with these degraded works we find a number of bas-reliefs and statues in which the earnestness of the Spanish religious spirit has inspired the baroque form. We may mention as especially worthy of study, a Conception in Palencia Cathedral, and a superb monument let into the wall on the right of the great altar; a beautiful Virgin in the Chapel of Ayuntamiento, Pampeluna; the Madonna over the high altar of Cuenca; the kneeling figure of an archbishop in San Andrés at Avila; and the magnificent tomb of Cardinal Valdés in the Church of the Sala, Oviedo. This last work is a masterpiece.{117}



The Andalusian school of sculpture was an offshoot from the school of Castile and Aragon, though in some respects its history was different. The reason of its late development is not difficult to find. In Southern Spain the Moorish influence was stronger and more enduring than in the North; and for all their secular buildings the Spaniards adopted Moorish designs and Moorish methods of decoration. The Alcázar of Seville, in its original state before alterations, and the Casa de Pilatos, are very pure mudéjar monuments. There was no abrupt transition between the Persian architecture and the classic style of the Renaissance. It was in the churches alone that opportunity arose for the development of Christian architecture. We find Roman or Gothic structures according to the epochs of their building. But even the churches retained the minaret in the form of clock-towers,{118} and other Moorish features, as, for instance, the Puerta del Perdon of the Cathedral of Seville.

It was the erection of these Christian edifices that brought the opportunity for the opening of studios of sculpture. Native carvers arose, who at first drew their inspiration from the more advanced art of the North. Then the fifteenth century opened with the building of the great Cathedral of Seville, an event which drew foreign artists to the Southern capital from Flanders and also from Italy. These foreigners trained worthy native pupils, and from this time we may date the rise and importance of the Sevillian school.

One of the first foreigners to arrive was Lorenzo de Mercadante, a Breton, whose power speaks in the monument of Cardinal Cervantes, in the cathedral, the earliest perfect portrait-statue in Southern Spain. In the cathedral, which is a veritable museum of polychrome art, we find graceful and charming statues, which show the influence of Mercadante. We may mention the beautiful Virgen de Madroñe (Virgin of the arbutus flower) and the Virgen del Reposo; both statues are polychromed, but the latter work has been to a large extent ruined by injudicious restoration. These Virgins are fine examples of the ideal treatment, expressing genuine beauty{119} with dignity and sweetness, which the native artists achieved in representing the Mother of God. Spain is the land of the Blessed Virgin.

To the teaching of Lorenzo Mercadante we owe the native artists Nufro Sánchez and Maestro Dancart, the earliest of the Sevillian carvers, who were appointed master sculptors to the cathedral at an annual salary of 10,000 maravedis. Their first work was the choir-stalls, which were begun in 1475 by Sánchez, and finished by Dancart in 1479. Of this work Professor Carl Justi says “its vein of invention and humour recalls the South German masters.”

Four years later Dancart was entrusted with the important work of erecting the grand altar of the cathedral (Plate 134). He executed the design, but the work was carried out by his pupils Marco and Bernardo de Ortega. The latter artist worked at the screen until his death in 1505, when the completion of the work was left to his son Francesco and to his grandson Bernardino. Gomez Oroco, George and Alexis Fernando Aleman, and Andres de Covarrubias also worked at different parts of the screen. In 1519, when the work was completed, the canons, for some reason not known, employed a pupil of Fernando Aleman named Moya to modify the design. He{120} was three years over the work, which he finished in the autumn of 1564. Some years later two wings were added, and the screen was finally completed in 1564. This mixed authorship was a mistake, and has resulted in a want of continuity in the design which has marred to some extent the beauty and harmony of the work.

Of more importance are the carvings of Pedro Millan, a pupil of Nufro Sánchez, who takes rank as the first really important master of the Sevillian school. The date of his birth is unknown. We hear of him first in the year 1505, when he executed the statues for the cimborium of the cathedral, which unfortunately were destroyed when the copula fell on December 28, 1512. Pedro worked in the style of the Burgundian masters, and his carvings show a genuinely creative talent, united with a true study of nature. To him we owe the statues in terra-cotta known as the Baptismo and the Nacimiento, which are outside two of the cathedral doors. The heads and hands are most beautifully modelled and the draperies are skilfully handled to display the figures. The bas-relief inserted in the pointed spandrel between the first ribs of the flying-arch, which represents the Adoration of the Magi, is also the work of Pedro Millan. But his best-{121}known statue is the noble Virgen del Pilar, in the Capilla de Nuestra Señora del Pilar. M. Marcel Dieulafoy believes that this is an earlier work than the terra-cotta bas-reliefs. Its importance is great on account of the polychrome, the original colours having been most carefully preserved. The flesh-tints are beautiful, delicate rose-shades on the cheeks, lips, and ends of the fingers. The robe shows reflections of pale gold, and the mantle, of the same tint, has arabesques of brown, while the veil is in full gilt. Besides these works in the cathedral, there are two statues of Pedro’s in private collections in Seville, and one is a masterpiece. This is the small polychromed statuette of St. Michael in the possession of Don Jose Gestoso y Perez. Like most of this artist’s works, it is executed in terra-cotta. It bears the signature of Pedro Millan in Gothic characters. The other statue group is a Pietà, in which the Virgin, Mary Magdalen, and St. John mourn over the body of Christ. It is in the gallery of Don Lopéz Cepero, y 7, Plaza de Alfaro. Unfortunately it has been painted a horrible stone colour and quite disfigured. Pedro Millan also furnished the models for the small terra-cotta figures on the beautiful portal of Santa Paula, which were executed by Niculoso of Pisa, the{122} author of the curious altar in terra-cotta in the Alcázar.

It was about this period that the Italian influences of the Renaissance began to be felt in Andalusia. Artists were attracted to Seville by the growing opulence of the city. Besides this, Italian works of art were brought to decorate the palaces of the nobles. Vasari, for instance, tells us Luca del Robbia sent several of his works to the Spanish king for his Southern capital, and he speaks also of a large bronze bas-relief, representing a fight between nude men, the work of Antonio Pallando, which had the same destination. But the old Flemish traditions were very deeply rooted, and remained longer active here than in the Northern schools of Castile and Aragon. Thus a style arose that united the two sources of inspiration.

The oratory and screen of Isabella la Catolica in the Alcázar are interesting examples of the expression of this double influence (Plate 135). They are the work of Francisco Niculoso Pisano, an Italian artist who settled in Seville, and whose work was of importance in directing the art of the sixteenth century; the altar bears his inscription, “Francisco Niculoso me fecit,” with the date 1503. The principal parts of the altar and also the screen are in very pure Italian style, but the{123} panel above the altar, as well as some details of the decoration, show clearly the old Spanish traditions founded on the Flemish methods. This may be explained as M. Marcel Dieulafoy suggests, if we accept the theory that the Italian master employed his colleague Pedro Millan to assist him in the execution of the work.

Another foreigner who helped in the introduction of Italian art to the native workers of Seville was Miguel, known as “the Florentine,” who worked with the wood-carvers in the cathedral. Afterwards, in the last years of the fifteenth century, Miguel executed the tomb of Mendoza, Archbishop of Seville. After the completion of this work, which gained much admiration, Miguel was constantly employed by the chapter, and he remained working in Seville until his death in the middle years of the century, when his position was taken by his son Micer Antonio Florentine, an artist of even greater talent than his father. Among Miguel’s works are the statues of St. Paul and St. John at either side of the Puerta del Perdon, and the bas-relief above representing Christ turning the Money-changers out of the Temple (Plate 136), and also the life-size terra-cotta statues on the enclosure of the Capilla Mayor.{124}

But the most famous of the Italian sculptors of Seville is Pietro Torrigiano, the disciple and rival of Michael Angelo. Torrigiano was born at Florence in the year 1470, and his work early proclaimed him a master. It is recorded that in a fit of rage he broke his rival’s nose with his fist, and as a result of this act of jealousy he had to flee from Italy. For a time he adopted the calling of a soldier, but, angered at not gaining promotion, he again took up his chisel. We hear of him next in England, where he gained fame and wealth by his chapel of Henry VII. in Westminster Abbey. But Torrigiano’s roving disposition again sent him wandering, and he went to Spain, first to Granada, where he competed for the order to execute the tombs of Ferdinand and Isabella, but, being unsuccessful, he came to Seville, in which city he finally settled. He died in 1522 in a dungeon of the Inquisition, which Vasari says was due to his smashing in a fit of rage a statue of the Virgin, ordered by the Duke of Arcos, because he considered the payment insufficient. But Cean Bermudez, though he does not deny the story, states that Torrigiano was charged with heresy.

The influence exercised in Seville by this great Italian was far-reaching, and his statues, though{125} few in number, were the models from which the native workers drew their inspiration. In style Torrigiano closely resembled Michael Angelo. We owe to him the statue of the Madonna (Plate 137) and that of St. Jerome (Plate 138), which were executed for the Convent of San Jerónimo, but are now in the museum. The figures are in terra-cotta, and are splendidly modelled, and both are polychromed. The tints used are simple, and harmonious to the model. The face and hands of St. Jerome are a brownish tone, as we should expect in one exposed to the action of the sun; the draperies are of a light red brown. The flesh tints of the Madonna and her child are charming; she wears a rose-coloured robe with a mantle of light blue, grey lined, and with a gold border. To Torrigiano we owe also the fine medallion in marble on the front of the Church of La Caridad, and another on that of the Jesuits. M. Marcel Dieulafoy ascribes to Torrigiano the statue of St. Jerome, now at Granada, in the Church of Santa Ana. It is a fine piece of sculpture, but the polychrome has been destroyed through want of care.

After the death of Pedro Millan and Torrigiano we find in Seville a band of capable artists, though none are equal in merit to Gregorio Hernandez,{126} who at the same time was working in Valladolid. At their head stands Micer Antonio Florentine, who, on the death of his father Miguel, took charge of his studio, and continued to direct the activities of the Sevillian sculptors. The best known of his own works was the Good Friday monument for the cathedral which he designed, modelling its statues with his own hands. His contemporary, Bartoloméo Morel, was the author of the statue of Faith Triumphant which crowns the Giralda Tower (Plate 139), and also of the celebrated Tenebrario of the cathedral of which Cean Bermudez says “that it is of its kind the finest piece of sculpture in Spain.” In this work collaborated Pedro Delgado, a capable artist, and the favourite pupil of Antonio Florentine. Pedro Delgado himself had many pupils. Among them were Juan Bautista Vasquez, one of the many artists who worked on the altar-screen of Toledo Cathedral, and Juan Giralte, a Flemish carver, who seems to have executed much work, but whose history is unknown.

Jerónimo Hernandez was an artist of higher merit. Though he was a pupil of Pedro Delgado, he drew his inspiration from Torrigiano. This explains the attribution of the St. Jerome of{127} the cathedral to the Italian master. But this fine sculpture is undoubtedly the work of Jerónimo Hernandez. He was also the author of the beautiful Jesus, and a Resurrection in the possession of the Dulce Nombre Brotherhood; of a lost work, a group of the Virgen del Rosario with the Infant Jesus in her arms and St. Domenico and St. Catherine kneeling at her feet; and of the altar-screen of the Convent of San Leandro. These statues prove that Jerónimo Hernandez was a carver of distinguished merit. In the altar-screen of San Leandro he was assisted by Juan de Sancedo and Vasco de Pereyra, a celebrated Portuguese painter, who carried out the painting and gilding of the statues.

A pupil of Jerónimo Hernandez was Gaspar Nicolas Delgado, who also studied with his uncle Pedro Delgado. He gained a higher reputation than his masters, and in Seville is accounted as one of the greatest sculptors. This estimate is misleading. His chief work, the St. John the Baptist in the Desert, which is in the chapel of the Nuns of St. Clemente though a bas-relief of real merit, the landscape especially being well represented, does not justify his position as a master. The merit of the work{128} has gained from the fine polychrome, which was carried out by the artist Pacheco.

A third artist who worked at this period, and a carver of more personal talent, was Capitan Cepeda, a native of Cordova, who, like Torrigiano was in turn a soldier and artist. He served in Italy and afterwards came to Seville, being summoned there by the goldsmiths of the city for the special work of arousing a devotion for the Crucified Christ. With this object Cepeda modelled the Cristo de la Expiracion which now stands on the altar of the small chapel of the museum. It is a work of Spanish realism, finely executed, with every detail of sorrow expressed and accentuated by the violent attitude and gesture. Again we would emphasise the fact that such a work can only be estimated truly by remembering the Spanish religious spirit. Cepeda represents in Seville the style which Juan Juni made popular in the Northern schools. Like that artist, his interest rests in the individuality of his work, which is national and wholly Spanish, while his contemporaries, Jerónimo Hernandez and Gaspar Nicolas Delgado, followed the newer influences from Italy.

The Sevillian school had not yet produced a master. But the time was now ripe. In the{129} closing years of the century there came to Seville the man who raised polychrome sculpture to its highest rank, and who was the greatest carver of Spain. His name was Juan Martinez Montañés.

Of the early life of this great artist we know almost nothing beyond the fact that he was the pupil of Pablo Rojas, a sculptor of Cordova. We first have definite information about him in the year 1582, when he with his wife came to the Monastery of Dulce Nombre de Jesus at Seville, where we learn they were granted free residence for life in recognition of an Image of the Virgin executed for the brotherhood. Two years later, in 1590, Montañés was at work for the Carmelite nuns. Nothing further of the artist’s life is known until the year 1607, when he completed a Jesus for the Santísimo Brotherhood of the cathedral. The record of this work proves that Montañés was then living in the Arquillo de Roelas with Catalina Salcedo y Sandobal. Thus he must have lost his first wife and again been married. He was at this time fifty years old. Such is the scant record of the first half of this great artist’s life. In truth he came late to the fruition of his genius, for it was after these fifty years of living, when the work of most men is already accomplished, that{130} Montañés created the greatest of those works which are the glory of Spain.

It is fitting to say a few words about his art. Montañés occupies the same position in the Southern school that Gregorio Hernandez held in the North. Like that master, he drew his inspiration directly from Nature. He had the same respect for truth, the same simplicity, and, stronger even than these qualities, the same Spanish religious sentiment and noble idealism. It is true that he used and made his own the methods of the Italian Renaissance, which were dominating the Sevillian artists, and which he would seem to have imbibed from a study of the classical models in the Casa de Pilatos of the Duke of Alcala; but with this outside influence he retained a powerful personality. Thus his work is entirely removed from the Italian style, as it expressed itself in the Peninsula with its fantastic mingling of Christianity and paganism. In nobility of form and religious sentiment the statues of Montañés surpass all other works of their class. Once again, and more emphatically than the carvings of any other artist, unless indeed we except Gregorio Hernandez, they give an answer to those who would discredit the beauty of polychrome statuary.


From the year 1607 onwards, up to his death in 1649, Montañés carried out numerous orders for the churches, convents, and religious brotherhoods of Seville; the greater number of these works still remain in the city. But of some it must be said that, though doubtless executed in the master’s studio and bearing his name, they were the work of his pupils. Fortunately it is not difficult to distinguish these spurious pieces which have been fathered upon Montañés. We have in the archives of the churches an exact record, usually with dates, of most of his works. Thus we are able to follow chronologically the evolution of his talent.

The earliest undertakings of Montañés after the execution of the infant Jesus for the Santísimo Brotherhood were two portrait-statues of St. Ignatius Loyola and St. Francis Xavier (Plates 140 and 141) which were commissioned in the year 1610 on the occasion of the beatification of the former saint, and which are now in the University Chapel. Of these idealised portraits Professor Justi writes that they are “marked by noble severity of character and pathos of expression.”

The period between 1610 and 1612 was occupied with an important work, the designing and carving of the altar-screen and statues for the old monastery of San Isidoro at Santiponce,{132} in the suburb of Seville. Montañés is noteworthy as a carver of altar-screens, and in this he returned to the methods of earlier artists. Seville owes to him three great retablos; those of Santa Clara and San Lorenzo in the city itself, and the one at Santiponce, which of the three is perhaps the most beautiful. It is in two registers with an attic. In the centre of the first portion stands the magnificent statue of St. Jerome, one of the finest figures of Montañés; placed on the right and left are St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, and two bas-reliefs of the Adoration of the Magi and of the Shepherds. The last group is especially beautiful. San Isidoro, Archbishop of Seville and patron of the church, occupies the centre of the second register, while the bas-reliefs on either side represent the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ. In the attic are figures of the Cardinal Virtues and an Assumption of the Virgin, which surmount a Crucifix and two kneeling angels.

In this great work it seems certain that Montañés must have been aided by his pupils. The St. Jerome, however, was carved entirely by himself. It was coloured by Pacheco, who was for many years the collaborator of the Sevillian master. The work is perfectly executed, indeed{133} it is impossible to say more of this magnificent polychrome than that it merits the praise which has been lavished upon it.

There are also in the Church of Santiponce the tombs of Don Alonso Perez de Guzmán el Bueno and his wife Doña Maria Coronel, who founded the monastery. They are carved in marble and polychromed. Cean Bermudez attributes to Montañés the figure of the hero of Tarifa. This is an error; both monuments are clearly by the same hand, and the style is not that of Montañés. But they are fine works, harmonious and simple, and the polychrome is very good indeed. It is unfortunate that their author is unknown.

The masterpiece of Montañés, and the work by which he is most widely known, belongs to the year 1614: it is the Crucifix now in the sacristy of the cathedral (Plate 142), but originally executed for the Carthusians of Santa Maria de las Cuevas, and given to the monastery with the stipulation that the figure was never to be removed. This statue, once seen, can never be forgotten. What impresses us is the dignity of the nude figures, wonderfully carved, without any violent attitudes, and the colouring, perfectly harmonious; it is the incomparable refinement, the sobriety with which the divine drama is repre{134}sented, that moves us so profoundly. Montañés expresses perfectly the deep religious feeling which animated Spain in the seventeenth century. A passage in the Arte de la Pintura tells us that the polychrome was done by Pacheco in the “mat tone” which he used with such splendid effect.

Five years later, in 1619, Montañés executed the first of his Christs of the Passion for the Cofradia de Cristo del Grand Poder Santísimo y Madre de Dios Trespaso, an order founded in Seville by the Dukes of Medina Sidonia in the middle of the fifteenth century. The statue bears the name El Señor del Gran Poder (The Being of Great Power). A good replica of this work belongs to the parish church of San Ildefonso. The original statue is now in the Church of San Lorenzo. It is placed in a dark side-chapel, where it is difficult to see it in the unequal light of the candles. The Christ bears the Cross in an unusual attitude, the upper part resting upon His shoulders. The face has splendid dignity. But the statue has been disfigured by the barbarous custom of dressing the figure in elaborate robes entirely out of harmony with the subject. Nobody sees the figure as it originally was, vigorously carved, and wearing nothing but a loin-cloth. These representations{135} of Christ with the Cross appealed strongly to the Spaniards, and were greatly venerated. Montañés cared much for them, and we read that a replica of El Señor del Gran Poder, known as El Señor de la Pasion, which he carved for the Convent of La Merced Calzada, was more esteemed by him than any of his works. It is even reported that when in Holy Week the Christ was carried in procession, he would wait to watch it pass, overcome with joy and surprise at what his hand had been able to create. This Christ is now in the parochial church of San Salvador, where is also a group of St. Anne and the Virgin attributed to Montañés.

As well as interpreting the story of Christ’s Passion, Montañés created statues of the Virgin, whose dignity, beauty, and feeling won for him the popular admiration of his contemporaries. The worship of the Mother of God had always made deep appeal to the religious heart of Spain; then, in the year 1617, a papal edict was issued, at the earnest instigation of Philip IV., declaring the immaculate nature of Mary. No dogma had ever been accepted so readily, or believed in so fervently, in Spain. The worship of the people in Montañés’ life was, in point of fact, practically centred in adoration of the Virgin{136} Mary; the many different religious orders, while venerating their respective founders and saints, were all united in their devotion to the Virgin. Art, still the servant of religion, was summoned to give expression to this passionate worship. Every artist was engaged in depicting the Virgin Mother. In the North, the artists, working under the inspiration of the Flemish masters, had delighted in representing those Virgins of Anguish where the Mother mourns at the foot of the Cross for her Son. But now Mary took a new form; she symbolises grace and beauty instead of the severity and asceticism of the older ideal. This was especially the case in Seville, the joyous city of the South. Here in exquisite images and paintings we see her young and happy, the sinless Virgin-Mother of the Lord. Montañés in sculpture and Murillo in painting were the great masters of this new ideal. They interpreted the favoured subject with that combination of naturalism and mysticism which found its way direct to the heart of the Andalusian religionists. They share together the claim of being the creators of the Spanish Virgins.

Seville contains several Conceptions by Montañés. There is one in the cathedral, another of equal merit is in the Segrario Chapel of San Julian.{137} The Conceptions of Santa Clara and San Clemente are also fine examples; they have greater merit than the better-known and much-praised Virgin of the University (Plate 143). It will suffice if we describe one of these Conceptions.

Montañés was already old when in 1630 he executed the statue, which was the earliest of his Immaculate Conceptions, now in the cathedral (Plate 144). Her type is Andalusian, and she is shown in the full bloom of her beauty. She appears to be meditating on the Immaculate Birth, and what we note especially is the dignity and grace of her attitude and the serene expression. The folds of the robe and mantle follow, but do not accentuate, the beautiful figure. Angels hover around her feet, which are hidden by her robe, as is commanded by the Church. The polychrome of the statue has been renewed, owing to damage having been done to the original painting by the removal of the vestments, with which, up to the year 1779, the figure was barbarously clothed. But the work has been carefully done, with due regard to the design of the primitive polychromists. The flesh tints are warm and glowing, and the hair is black with brown reflections. The robe is white over a red dress, of which only the sleeves appear, and is covered with a pattern of{138} gold inset around with a brown fillet. This black mantle is also enriched with a design of golden palm-leaves. We do not know who was the original painter of this work. It was not Pacheco, for before 1630, the date of the Conception, the father-in-law of Velazquez had, after the lawsuit in 1622, severed his connection with Montañés, who wished to exercise a closer superintendence in the carrying out of the polychrome of his statues than Pacheco would submit to. Montañés does not seem to have undertaken the polychrome himself; his works were too numerous to permit this. An interesting contract dated 1641, and relating to the colouring of the altar-screen of San Miguel at Xeres, names Jacinto Soto as the polychromist, and besides furnishes strict injunctions that he must accept and follow in the work the directions of Montañés. From this document we may assume that Jacinto Soto succeeded Pacheco.

The consideration of these Christs of the Passion and the Conceptions has carried us away from the chronological order of Montañés’ work. The years 1615 to 1622 were occupied with the execution of the screen of the high altar and four altars in the nave of the Church of Santa Clara, of which the statues and the sculptures are the work of Montañés. The carvings are of great{139} merit, but unfortunately the screen of the high altar was redecorated after the death of the master and almost ruined. It has fine statues of Santa Clara, of the Christ and God the Father, as well as a Conception, which formerly was on one of the side altars, four bas-reliefs and a number of statuettes, among which special attention should be given to the very beautiful group of angels, who carry the lamps of the Holy Sacrament. On the side altars are the figures of St. Francis, St. John the Baptist, and St. John the Evangelist.

The third important altar of Montañés is that of the Church of San Lorenzo. It belongs to a later period of his art, having been undertaken about the year 1639. The statue of St. Lawrence and the four bas-reliefs, though probably not entirely the work of the master, are carvings of excellent taste and distinction.

The carvings attributed to Montañés are very numerous, and, as we have stated already, it is necessary to make a distinction between his own work and that of his pupils. The statues of St. Bruno, the Virgin, and St. John the Baptist (Plates 145 and 146), which were executed for the Carthusians of Santa Maria during the period between 1617 and 1620, and which are now in the Museum{140} of Seville, are examples of carvings which, though executed in the studio of Montañés, must not be accounted his personal work. Probably their author was his favourite pupil Solis, who for many years was the devoted collaborator of the master. This is also the opinion of M. Marcel Dieulafoy. The Virgin is a very beautiful polychrome, which speaks of the high skill of the carver. The original colouring has been well cared for, and there is great delicacy in the rose-coloured robe and blue mantle, which is covered with flowers and a network design in gold. The child Jesus wears a robe of pale blue relieved with delicate gold damasking.

In the museum is also the celebrated statue of Santo Domingo, which was brought from the high altar of the Church of Santo Domingo de Portacelci. It belongs to the year 1627. It is a fine work, but though much prized in Seville, its merit is not so great as the St. Jerome of Santiponce, the statue with which it should be compared.

In the year 1635, when Montañés was at least seventy-five years old, an age when the activity of most men is over, he was called to Madrid by the Grand Duke of Tuscany, to execute an equestrian statue of Philip IV. He modelled a masterpiece, but the mould being sent to Italy to be{141} cast, was by some mischance lost. However, the master’s design served as a model for the sculptor Pietro Tacca, whose work now stands in the Plaza del Oriente, at Madrid.

It was during this two years’ sojourn in Madrid that Montañés renewed his friendship with Velazquez, and sat for that incomparable portrait which is one of the masterpieces of the great painter.

The last work of Montañés was an altar-screen for the Church of San Miguel at Cadiz. The commission for the work had been given as early as 1609, but Montañés had been occupied with the altar-screens of Santiponce and other commissions in Seville, and the work had been postponed. There was a second commission signed in 1613, but the work was not undertaken until much later, and was not finally achieved until 1640, after the visit to Madrid. The statue of St. Bruno which dominates the altar is very fine; the figure is seated, an unusual position for Montañés. The polychrome was executed by Jacinto Soto.

Montañés died in 1649. He left a number of able pupils, and though none inherited his genius, they carried on his work with merit, and sustained the high renown of the school of Seville. It will be well to consider their works in a separate chapter.{142}



It is the fate of the followers of a great master that their talent is almost always expressed in imitation, rather than in original work. Occupied with the glory that has been achieved, they forget that personality is the only living quality in art; that, however capably they may follow, they cannot reach the height that has already been gained. Thus the result of imitation must always be decay.

But the renown of the Sevillian school was for a time maintained by a band of really capable sculptors, who, had they lived earlier, before Montañés instead of after, might have been masters and not merely followers. We must now consider their work.

The sculptors most immediately connected with Montañés were Solis, of whom we have spoken already; the Abbot Juan Gomez, one of his earliest pupils; Alonso Martinez, an architect and{143} master carpenter of Seville Cathedral; Luis Ortiz, a sculptor of Malaga; and Alonso de Mena, who came from Granada. These five men all worked as pupils in the studio of Montañés, and to a greater or less extent adapted their talent to copying the qualities of their master. Indeed Solis and the Abbot Juan Gomez appropriated so well his style that considerable confusion as to the authorship of their works has arisen.

Born in Jaen, Solis came to Seville in the year 1617, and assisted Montañés in the execution of the statues of St. Bruno, the Virgin, and St. John the Baptist for the Carthusians of Santa Maria de las Cuevas, which are now in the Museum of Seville. It is probable, as we stated in the last chapter, that the statues were carved by Solis from the wax models of Montañés. La Justicia (Plate 148) and the Four Cardinal Virtues, executed for the same monastery, and now also in the museum, were the personal work of Solis: in this work he shows that, apart from his power of imitation, he possessed talent of his own which entitles him to recognition. It is a polychrome of real merit, well conceived and well executed.

Even greater confusion has arisen with regard to the authorship of the works of the Abbot Juan{144} Gomez, of which Seville has numerous examples. Even Cean Bermudez places among the original works of Montañés a Jesus of Nazareth of the Convent of San Agustine, which to-day is in the Priory Church, although the archives prove the Abbot Gomez to be its author. This work is proof of the capability of the pupil. He does even greater credit to his master in his life-size Crucifixion, executed in 1616 for the town of La Campaña. M. Marcel Dieulafoy says of this work: “It is a faithful copy of those of Montañés, and like them extremely beautiful.” Unfortunately the carving has suffered greatly from bad restoration.

Alonso Martinez carved, with Francisco de Ribas, the altar-screen of the Chapel of San Pablo in the cathedral, and it is to his hand we owe a very beautiful polychromed figure of the Virgin (Plate 149). Alonso de Mena, a sculptor whose fame has been overshadowed by his son Pedro, the disciple of Alonso Cano, carved many works for the churches of Alpujaras; in addition he executed for the Chapel of the Kings two large buffets of which the folding doors are ornamented with eight excellent medallions of the Queens and Kings of Spain.

To Luis Ortiz we owe the earliest of the cathedral stalls at Malaga, which were carved by him in{145} 1630 in collaboration with Josef Micael. He was also the author of the altar-screen of the royal chapel of Nuestra Señora de los Reyes. The two brothers Francisco Ruiz and Juan Antonio Gixon were taught their art by Alfonso Martinez. Antonio Gixon was professor, and later director, of the Academy of Seville, founded by Murillo. Francisco Ruiz remodelled, after Montañés, the dying Christ (Plate 150) which is in the church at Triana, a suburb of Seville. It is a very beautiful carving, which bears comparison with the master’s Crucifixion in the cathedral. The polychrome also is harmonious, equal to the finest work of the masters of that art. Indeed the merit of this unknown statue is surprising when the late period at which it was undertaken is remembered.

But the art of sculpture still had strong life in Seville, and the school was to produce another master to continue the traditions of Montañés. Pedro Roldan was born in Seville in 1624, and he learnt his art in the studio of Montañés, working afterwards in the Academy of Seville. He is the pupil who did the master the greatest credit: he may even be said to have surpassed him in the art of composition. No one else among the Southern sculptors had his power of grouping{146} a number of figures. His two masterpieces—one in the parish church of the cathedral, the other in the Hospital de la Caridad—are veritable pictures in relief. They are the finest altar-screens in Seville, and must be compared with the works of Gregorio Hernandez and Juni, the masters of the Northern schools.

The cathedral altar-screen is a bas-relief representing the Descent from the Cross. The Virgin supports the body of the Christ, and around them are grouped St. John and several disciples, the Magdalen, and the holy women. The figures are larger than life-size. In the background are the two thieves outlined against the Temple, which is seen in the distance. Around this central composition are beautiful angel figures carrying the instruments of the Passion. Then on the base of the altar is outlined the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

In the execution of this work Roldan was aided by Francisco de Ribas, a master carpenter, who was the son of Gaspar de Ribas, the first collaborator with Alonso Cano. Francisco Ribas began the altar in 1669, when he contracted for the price of 88,000 reals, with the condition that all the figures were to be carved by the hand of Roldan. We do not know how much Roldan received for{147} his work. He was always indifferent as to the payments made to him.

The altar-screen of the chapel of La Caridad is even finer than that of the cathedral. The subject (Plate 152) is the Burial of Christ. The figures placed around the Divine Body, which is being lowered into the tomb, are splendidly grouped, and there is great unity in the composition of the scene. The polychrome was carried out by Juan de Valdés Leal, while Murillo aided that painter with his counsel and possibly with his brush. The architect Bernardo de Puieda contracted for the work, receiving for it 12,500 ducats. Of this sum 11,000 ducats went to Valdés Leal, but we have no knowledge as to the amount appointed to Roldan, though a contemporary writer remarks that “it was very little.” This is what we should expect, for we read of Roldan as being entirely engrossed in his art. He lived in a country house outside Seville, where he enjoyed the beauties of nature, only going to the city when compelled. Then he rode on a small donkey, and occupied his time while journeying in making small models in clay or wax, which he always carried with him.

Besides his large altar-screens Roldan executed many small bas-reliefs, which give further proof of{148} his talent. The best examples are in the Cathedral of Jaen. These bas-reliefs are carved in marble, and, like his larger works, are remarkable for the beauty of their composition. The subjects are the Flight into Egypt, the Marriage at Cana, and Christ’s Argument with the Doctors, which are in the interior of the church set over the principal doorway. Then on the exterior of the building are statues of St. Ferdinand, the Doctors, and the Evangelists.

Some of Roldan’s sculptured statues in Seville have been attributed to Montañés. This has been the case with the striking Ecce Homo of the Hospital de la Caridad. To complete Roldan’s work we must mention his groups of the “Pasos,” which he carved for the Holy Week procession. In these he appealed most forcibly to the people of Seville. Christ’s Agony in the Garden is the best known; it is as fine as any of the “Pasos” of Montañés.

Roldan left a daughter, Doña Luisa, known as Roldana, who has the honour of being the one renowned woman sculptor of Spain. She was born in the year 1556, and was trained by her father, assisting him in his work. She inherited his talent, with less strength but more grace. Legend states that a statue of St. Ferdinand{149} carved by Roldan was refused acceptance. The daughter retouched the work, and gave it more life, when it was received by the purchaser without knowing it was the same statue. Probably the story is untrue, but it proves the estimation in which Roldana was held by her contemporaries. Roldana married a king’s chamberlain, and went to reside in Madrid, where her works and also her person gained admiration. In 1695 she was appointed sculptor to the Chamber. But she died in 1704, when still young, only four years after her father.

Roldana’s best work is the Virgin, known as Nuestra Señora de las Augustias, which is at Cadiz (Plate 153), where it is greatly esteemed. This praise is deserved. The group is cleverly composed, and is remarkable for the originality displayed in the placing of the figures; the body of the dead Christ rests between the knees of the Virgin instead of across them. The Christ is excellent, the Virgin is less good; but the angels who hold up the arms of the Divine Sufferer are very beautiful. The way in which they are grouped is masterly. The Escorial has one work by Roldana, a statue of St. Michael, who is shown dancing, and is dressed in the armour and Roman costume of the century of Louis XIV. This statue is less noteworthy.{150}

Roldan had, besides his daughter, one pupil who deserves mention, Pedro Duque Cornejo. He was the last sculptor of the Sevillian school. Among his contemporaries he gained great success, and for twenty-five years he was sculptor to the Queen’s Chamber—a success which his works certainly do not merit. All his carvings suffer from exaggeration and an overloading of ornament and gilding—the faults of the decadent period in which he lived. He executed many commissions for the Cartuja del Paula at Seville. He carved in mahogany the stalls of Cordova Cathedral, and also the fine Silleria, which was brought from the Cartuja of Seville to the Coro of Cadiz Cathedral. Cornejo died in 1757, and was buried with princely state in Cordova Cathedral.{151}



The school of Granada was an offshoot from the school of Seville, and it owes its glory chiefly to one man, who must be considered as the pupil of Montañés.

Alonso Cano was born at Granada, on the 17th of March 1601, and was baptized in the parish church of San Ildefonso, where the register of his baptism may still be seen. His father, Miguel Cano, was a carver of retablos, and it was with him that the young Cano learnt the rudiments of his art. Before long his talent gained the notice of the painter Juan del Castillo, who recommended the removal of the Cano family to Seville for the sake of better instruction. Cano entered for eight months the studio of Francisco Pacho, where he learnt painting, having for his fellow-student Velazquez. Afterwards he became the assistant of Juan del Castillo. In sculpture he was the{152} pupil of Montañés, and for several years he worked under his guidance. There seems to have been a great friendship between the master and pupil. Cano’s debt to Montañés was very great, and his early works in Seville, executed under the direction of the master, are proof of how completely he assimilated his style.

Cano’s earliest sculptured works were three retablos, designed, carved, and painted, one for the College of San Alberto, and two for the Conventual Church of Santa Paula. Zurbaran and Pacheco were employed with Cano in executing the altar-screen of San Alberto, and Cean Bermudez tells us that his work surpassed theirs in merit. In the execution of the two altar-screens for Santa Paula he was helped by Gaspar de Ribas, who worked with him under the direction of Montañés. These screens remain in the Church of Santa Paula—one over the altar of St. John the Baptist, the other over that of St. John the Evangelist. They are pieces of harmonious work, altogether praiseworthy, which show Cano’s combined power as architect, sculptor, painter, and damask worker. The finer is the altar of St. John the Baptist. The statue of the prophet and a bas-relief representing the Baptism of Christ are at either side, and between a beautiful representa{153}tion of figures carrying the head of St. John on a charger; then to right and left, between the columns, are placed statues of the Saints, and these surmount figures of the Virtues and Cherubim. The hand of a master is seen everywhere.

Besides the altar-screens of Santa Paula, there are a few good carvings that belong to this period of Cano’s youth. There is a Conception in the nunnery of Santa Paula, placed over the doorway, and a second, and perhaps finer, Conception is in the parish church of San Andrés, and there is also in the same church a very beautiful Child Jesus, unfortunately dressed in a satin robe which quite hides the body. These statues are all good, and indeed might be ascribed to Montañés except for a weakness in the modelling of the nude portions, a fault which Cano afterwards overcame. The few other carvings in Seville that are ascribed to Cano are less certainly by him, and are works of little interest.

An important undertaking belongs to the year 1628. Miguel Cano had been employed to erect a new high altar for the church at Lebrija, a small town situated forty-five miles from Seville on the way to Jeréz. The altar was already designed, but the actual carving was not started, when Miguel Cano died. It fell to his son to{154} complete the work. Four pieces of sculpture were executed; a Crucifixion to be placed above the altar, colossal statues of St. Paul and St. Peter for its second storey, and a small and exquisite image of the Virgin enshrined within a curtained niche above the slab of the altar. This last is perhaps the most pleasing sculpture of this early period; it is one of those really beautiful pieces which cause us to forgive much of Cano’s commonplace work.

It was soon after this that Cano left Seville. He could not bear any superior in his art except his master to be near him, and he challenged a fellow-painter, Sebastian de Llano y Valdés, whose success had enraged him. He stabbed and wounded him, and, to escape the action of the ecclesiastical authorities, he fled to Madrid. Here he renewed his friendship with Velazquez, and through his influence gained an appointment to work in the royal palaces, besides having the honour of being professor to Prince Baltasar Carlos.

During this period, and in the years that followed, Cano did more painting than modelling, and we have many pictures from his hand, some of which may be seen in the Prado Museum. In 1643 we find Cano at Toledo soliciting work in the cathedral. He did not obtain it, and returned{155} to Madrid, where, soon afterwards, he was accused of murdering his wife. This was the beginning of a period of turmoil and wandering. Cano fled to the city of Valencia and afterwards took refuge in the Cartuja of Portacali. But later on, returning to Madrid, he fell under the tribunal of the Inquisition. After suffering the torture, he was adjudged innocent of the crime with which he was charged, and appointed Majordomo of the Brotherhood of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores. This was a source of fresh trouble, and Cano was fined a sum of a hundred ducats for refusing to assist in the procession in Holy Week beside the alguazils of the court—a characteristic incident, for Cano was a man who never crossed his own wishes. Cano again left Madrid, and we find him in Toledo, employed by the chapter to inspect the works in the octagon chapel. Afterwards he must have gone to Valencia and Malaga, then he appears again at Madrid. But he seems to have sought an opportunity to leave the royal city, and a canonry being vacant in the Cathedral of Granada, he petitioned the post from Philip IV., which was granted by a royal decree, dated September 11, 1651, under conditions that he should take orders within a year. But the year passed and Cano was not ordained, and his pre{156}bendaryship was declared vacant. Whereupon Cano, who was still governed by self-will, took his grievance to the courts. A chaplaincy was conferred on him by the Bishop of Salamanca, and the artist was ordained a sub-deacon. Then the king ordered, by a decree dated April 14, 1658, that the Granada prebendaryship should be restored to him, with the condition that he adopted ecclesiastical dress, which hitherto he had refused to wear. At last, in 1659, Cano returned to Granada, and took possession of his prebendaryship, which he occupied in peace for the remaining eight years of his life.

This was the period of Cano’s greatest activity. The only sculptured works achieved during these turbulent years were the design for the Holy Week monument of the Church of St. Gines, Madrid, and also the design and the superintending of the building of the triumphal arch erected at the Guadalajara gate for the entry of Queen Mariana on her marriage with Philip IV. But now the restless artist had found a fixed home in the city of his birth, with unhindered opportunity for the exercise of his facile gifts.

Granada, and especially the cathedral—in the bell tower of which building his studio was—owe much to these years of Cano’s residence. His{157} activity seems to have been unwearying. But, indeed, it must be granted that the city possesses more works than Cano could possibly have accomplished in a period of eight years. It has been usual to attribute to him every good piece of polychrome statuary in Granada. This is not surprising, for it is often impossible to distinguish with certainty between his work and that of his pupils Josef de Mora and Pedro de Mena, who imitated his style and made copies of many of his works. And the confusion is increased by the habit which Cano had of himself working on the carvings of his assistants; were they in difficulty, he would finish their work with his own hand. Thus it is impossible to pronounce with certainty as to the authorship of many of the reputed Canos in Granada.

Among the statues in the cathedral that are ascribed to Cano, and are certainly his work, we may place first the Purissima, which is kept in the sacristy. It is a small and very beautiful statuette which has the qualities that belong to Cano’s paintings. Even more interesting is the group of the Virgin and Child, with Santa Ana, also in the cathedral, where it is hidden in the gloom of a dark side-chapel. Quite unknown, this beautiful statue is almost certainly Cano’s work; it has{158} all the qualities that belong to his art. The Virgin, who is seated on the knee of Santa Ana, holds the Child Jesus. The figures are half life-size; the three faces and the hands are of exquisite delicacy. The Virgin resembles the Purissima in her sweetness. What a dainty fairness is here; with what exquisite taste the veil and the robe are arranged! The polychrome, too, is very beautiful, and fortunately it has not been restored. The Virgin wears a white tulle turban, which is black striped and gold fringed; her robe is light red, damasked in gold, and partly covered by a drapery of indigo blue, which is fastened with gold clasps at the shoulders and waist. Santa Ana’s robe is black, gold embroidered, while her cloak is a deeper shade of the same red-brown as the Virgin’s tunic.

In these two statues we see Cano’s power in expressing tender human emotions. It is the quality that marks his works—both his painting and his carvings—among the Spanish masters. His art never touches the passionate Conceptions of Ribera or Zurbaran in painting, or of Hernandez in sculpture: it is on a lower level than the ecstatic emotion of Murillo or the beautiful carvings of Montañés. Cano is mild and touching; he neither excites nor thrills us. His Virgin is the happy{159} earthly Mother who takes sweet pleasure in her Child, not the Mater Dolorosa, suffering for the sorrows of her Divine Son. She has the fairness which he gives to all women. It was this understanding, so uncommon in Spanish art, whose object was “to persuade men to piety and to incline them to God,” of the joy of life with its human relationships, that was Cano’s special gift. He changed the dramatically serious religious compositions common to his country into scenes that speak charmingly of tender joyousness born of earthly love. To him alone, it would seem, it was given to find joy, and not sorrow, in the divine drama from which the Spanish artists drew their inspiration.

Other carvings in the cathedral that are ascribed to Cano, though his authorship in some of the pieces is disputed, are the colossal busts of Adam and Eve placed very high to the right and left of the entrance to the Capilla Mayor, and the heads of St. Paul and St. John the Baptist, which are hidden in the darkness of the Chapel of Nuestra Señora del Carmel. These carvings, and especially the bleeding heads of the saints, are subjects that do not properly belong to Cano’s art, but were undertaken by him to meet the popular taste of his{160} day, and for this reason they are of less interest. Yet their importance is great on account of the excellence of the polychrome. The Adam and Eve, larger than life-size, are carved in oak, and harmoniously coloured with excellent care. Unfortunately the height at which they are placed makes it very difficult to see them. The head of St. Paul and that of the Baptist—if this is Cano’s work, and the skill of the craftsmanship points to its being so—must be classed with the similar head of St. John the Baptist in the Church of Santa Paula, which is also ascribed to Cano. This last piece seems to have been copied from the head of the Prophet sculptured by Montañés for the Church of Santa Clara. There is also a most excellent Head of St. John the Baptist in the Camarin of the Chapel of San Juan de Dios, which must certainly be Cano’s work (Plates 154-156). None but a master could have carved this head; it is the finest example in Spain of a polychrome of this subject. The livid face, which shows the death-marks, is surrounded with tumbled locks of black hair and a beard of the same colour. Both it and the bleeding neck are faithfully and splendidly rendered: there is beauty in the horror. The charger on which the head is placed is of gold, and{161} forms a sort of aureole around it. At the top an eagle has seized it in its beak to carry the relic to heaven; the bird is painted a deep warm black with beautiful reflections.

The cathedral has other works which it owes to the years of Cano’s residence. The beautiful frescoes of the Capilla Mayor, illustrating scenes from the life of the Virgin, were his work. The lower stage of the west façade we owe largely to him. He designed and superintended the execution of two silver lamps for the principal chapel; he carved the elaborate lectern of the choir, formed of fine woods, bronze, and precious stones; and executed new portals for the sacristy. Two medallions on copper of great delicacy were wrought for the Chapel of the Trinity. Here the figures recall the Virgin in the group of Santa Ana and Virgin and Child. In addition several important pictures were painted for the dome of the Capilla Mayor, and others as altar-pieces for the chapels. Some of these canvases disappeared when Granada was stripped of so many of its treasures by the French. But a few fine pictures remain. The Trinity in the chapel of that name, the Way of the Cross in Nazareno Chapel, and the Virgen de la Soledad, which hangs over the altar of San Miguel, are the most important.{162}

This last-named painting is especially interesting to us, for there are two pieces of sculpture certainly copied from it, one in the parish church of Santa Ana, the other in the Church of Santa Paula. Both are excellent. The Virgin has the delicacy and beauty that we expect from Cano. The polychrome is subdued; the flesh of the face and the beautiful folded hands are a dull pallor, befitting grief; the eyes and the tears are formed by crystals, after the custom used by Gregorio Hernandez and Juan de Juni. The dress, which is white, and the mantle, of bluish black, are perfectly harmonious. These colours are a repetition of the cathedral picture. And the question arises, are the sculptures also by Cano? That of Santa Paula has always been ascribed to Josef de Mora. If we accept this, we must account the Soledad of Santa Ana as the work of Cano, and the Santa Paula as a splendid copy. But both statues are so equally good, especially in the colouring, that the pupil’s work must have been touched by the hand of the master. It is impossible to believe that Josef de Mora could have achieved this masterpiece unaided.

The same difficulty of authorship between the master and the pupil confronts us in the two statues of St. Bruno, both in the Cartuja (Plate{163} 158). One, life-size, is in the sacristy, and this work is reported to have been ordered from Josef de Mora; the other, a statuette, which is placed over the high altar, may with little question be ascribed to Cano. At least, if it is not his work, then it is a copy of a lost original. Josef de Mora could not by himself have designed so exquisite a work. The statuette exceeds the statue in beauty. Both the carving and colouring are equally fine; the latter is a triumph of polychrome. The monk’s pale face and hands, his white robe, and his scapular of the same colour, are perfectly transcribed, a richness being given to the white of the dress, in contrast to the pale flesh, by the device of the old damask workers of painting over a gold ground. This small work is another masterpiece which Cano achieved. It takes rank with the St. Anthony in San Nicolas of Murcia, a better known work, which belongs to an earlier period of Cano’s art. The Cartuja formerly contained a fine statue of the Magdalen, which is ascribed to Cano (Plate 159). It was taken away, with many works of art, during the invasion of the French.

There is almost hopeless uncertainty with regard to the remaining commissions carried out by Cano for the religious orders of Granada.{164} Cean Bermudez catalogues many paintings and sculptures that have disappeared. For the Convent of the Angel we read that Cano carved in marble a figure of the Guardian Angel to be placed over the portal, and designed an elaborate altar-screen, which was carved by Pedro de Mena, though Cano chiselled several of the statues with his own hand. He also painted a picture of our Lord parting from the Virgin in the Via Dolorosa. Other pictures were painted for the Convent of San Diego, and a series of half-length figures of the Apostles were designed and executed for the Dominican Monastery of Sta. Catalina. Then Cano worked for private patrons. Palomino tells of a statue of St. Anthony of Padua, carved for the Auditor of the Chancery, which Cano, becoming enraged with his client about the payment of the work, dashed to pieces: a characteristic incident, which recalls the action of Torrigiano. Unfortunately the disappearance of many of these churches and monasteries with all their contents, and the change of the names of others, makes it impossible to estimate these works or to hazard an opinion as to their present whereabouts.

Cano closed his activity with a series of works for Malaga Cathedral. He designed the Capilla Mayor, and undertook to carve new stalls for the{165} choir, but a dispute arising about the payment, he threw up the work with his usual impetuosity and returned to Granada. A group of important pictures were also painted in these last years.

Cano died in his house in the Albaicin quarter on the 5th October 1667; he was then sixty-six years old. His body rests in the Pantheon of the Canons beneath the choir of the cathedral.

It is worth noting that Cano died in poverty. His disposition was generous, and the old Spanish writers tell us that his gains, as soon as he won them, were divided among his friends and among the poor. We find numerous anecdotes of his life, and one story of his death is too good not to be recorded; moreover it helps to complete our knowledge of the man. The priest summoned to offer extreme unction to the dying Cano was accustomed to labour among penitent Jews, towards whom the artist had always displayed a curiously passionate antipathy. The sick man recognised the priest. “Go, Señor Licenciado,” he cried, “go with God and do not trouble to call again: the priest who administers the Sacraments to Jews shall not administer them to me.” A fresh priest was summoned. The new-comer placed an old-fashioned crucifix in the hands that had carved so many beautiful pieces. Impatiently{166} Cano pushed it aside. “My son,” gently remonstrated the priest, “what dost thou mean? This is the Lord who redeemed thee and must save thee!” “I know that all very well,” was Cano’s answer, “but do you want to provoke me with this wretched ill-wrought thing in order to give me over to the devil?”

Cano was a gallant soul storming through life, who in spite of his violence and restlessness was loving and charitable, displaying boundless graciousness towards his friends and his pupils. No master ever took greater interest in his pupils; he gave freely to them of his knowledge and his work. These contradictions in Cano’s temperament explain his art.

Among Cano’s pupils special mention must be made of Josef de Mora and Pedro de Mena; both imitated their master so closely that, as we have seen, their works have been confused with his. This is perhaps the best praise that can be accorded to the pupils. Joseph de Mora was born at Majorca in 1638, where he passed his youth learning his art from his father. The fame of Cano brought him to Granada, and he at once became a pupil in the studio of the master. He acquired considerable skill as a carver, and a few years later he went to Madrid, where he was appointed{167} sculptor to the king. But the climate of the capital being unsuited to his health, he returned to Granada. From this time Mora became wholly the imitator of Cano. He had a curious habit that is worth recording; no one ever saw him at work, for when in his studio with his model the door was always kept bolted. This explains perhaps why he was able to copy so successfully the carvings of Cano. We have pointed out the various statues in which confusion has arisen between the authorship of the master and that of the pupil. The St. Bruno of the Cartuja and the Virgen de la Soledad of Santa Ana cannot be given to Mora as wholly his own work; a Conception in the Cartuja, if it is by his hand, must also be considered as a copy of Cano. Fortunately for Mora’s personal reputation there is in the Church of Santa Ana a statue by him of St. Pantaleon, which reveals some individual characteristics. The figure of the young martyred saint was modelled from a woman, and the spiritual effect gained by this means is increased by the unusual device of placing the statue in a glass case. The figure is very graceful and delicate, which contrasts with the severity of the face. But there is a weakness in the modelling of the legs and feet, and also in the{168} folds of the vestments, which the artist has striven to hide by the polychrome. This is good, in the style commended by Pacheco, made in subdued tones and with no gilding. The personal qualities of this statue make us regret the practice of imitation of his master in which Mora lost his own talent, which must have been considerable.

This is even more true of Pedro de Mena, Cano’s second pupil, who had much greater originality and talent. A native of Alpujaras, where, in collaboration with his father Alonso de Mena, he had established a considerable local reputation, like Mora he came to Granada, attracted by the renown of Cano. It is reported that when he saw the master’s works in the cathedral his enthusiasm was so great that he determined to do no more carving until he had become a pupil of Cano. He brought his family to Granada and at once entered the studio of the master. Cano recognised his talent, and passed over to him all the work which he did not wish personally to execute. Under these conditions Mena gained the commission, refused by Cano, to carve forty statues of the saints for the choir of Malaga Cathedral. The work occupied four years, 1658-1662, and for it Mena received payment of 40,000 reals. These statues prove the great talent of Mena.{169} The figures are carved in cedar-wood and are not coloured. What is remarkable is the individuality which Mena has succeeded in giving to the different saints; each is a living character. Professor C. Justi says of these statuettes: “They are among the most singular and startling products of Spanish art, if not of all modern sculpture.” Mena had the Spanish gift of impressive rendering of character, and it is for this quality he claims recognition.

In 1667 Mena was appointed sculptor to the Chapter of Toledo. Probably it was at this time that he carved the statuette of St. Francis (Plate 160), now in the Cathedral Treasury, which has erroneously been ascribed to Cano. This ascetic figure, so Spanish in its conception, could never have been carved by Cano. The popularity of Mena increased, and on the death of Cano he took his place, fulfilling many commissions for the different religious orders. The city still contains several of his works. The equestrian statue of St. James and the praying statues of the Catholic Kings in the cathedral are the best known. But these works are of much less merit than the saints in the choir of Malaga. Certainly they have some individuality, but Mena here relies too much on what he had learnt{170} from Cano; or perhaps popularity had made him careless.

But Mena’s fame spread, and he was called by Prince John of Austria to Madrid to execute a Virgen del Pilar with St. James at her feet. The success of this work gained a second commission, and Prince Doria ordered a Crucifixion which was sent to Italy, where it gained much praise—a rare honour for a Spanish sculptor.

Mena did not remain in Madrid, and after a period of residence in Cordova, Malaga, and Salamanca, where he carved a statuette of St. Francis which is still in the city, he returned to Granada, where he died in 1693.


The last years of the seventeenth century saw the death of the great sculptors of Spain, and with the opening of the eighteenth century we may say that the art of sculpture itself was dead. A corruption in taste had become general; it was evident in painting and in architecture as well as in sculpture. Churriguera was the great offender, but his contemporaries, following his lead, had sought by bad taste, displayed in excessive decoration and vivid colour, “to correct” the simplicity of art. The decline of sculpture in the South was more rapid and perhaps greater than{171} in the Northern schools. Many of the old altar-screens were replaced by modern works of the new false art. A popular desire arose for works of the coarsest materialisation. The custom grew of dressing the statues in real garments. Then eyes of glass and real hair were in many instances added, and apparatus was invented for moving the head, mouth, eyes, and limbs of the statues. Many pieces of fine sculpture were actually destroyed to meet this degraded demand. The Virgins, and notably the las Doloras, were subjected to this treatment. One example of these “dressed images” is a Virgin in Seville Cathedral. The limbs of this carved doll move at the joints, while a contrivance in the body enables the head to turn to the right or the left. The body is covered with rose-coloured taffeta which is glued to the wood, the hair is of silk plaited with gold threads, and shoes of white kid encase the feet. Sometimes the figure sits, and sometimes stands, and the Child Jesus is placed in the arms or upon the knees according to the position of the mother.

There is little more to add. A dying tradition of art with no master to reanimate its life—that is the record of the eighteenth century.

One artist alone claims remembrance. Fran{172}cisco Zarcello was the son of an unimportant Neapolitan artist, who had settled in Murcia at the close of the seventeenth century. It was from his father that Francisco Zarcello gained what training in art he had. It is said that he purposed going to Italy to study, but the project was not carried out. Probably Zarcello gained from thus pursuing his art alone, as he was saved from the error of imitation, especially baneful in this period of decadence. And though the renown he gained must be admitted to be in excess of the merit that his works claim, he did possess a considerable talent, with real feeling and something of the old Spanish religious sincerity. Had he lived in a different epoch, with conditions more favourable to art, he might have been a great artist.

Zarcello executed numerous works: indeed a greater number of statues and statuettes—no less than eighteen hundred—than several men’s lives could have sufficed to have produced are catalogued to his name. Many of these present really admirable qualities. He was especially successful in the grouping of his figures, many of which, though showing exaggerated attitudes, are true works of art. His retablos in the churches of{173} Murcia, and the realistic groups of the “Pasos,” guarded in the Ermita de Jesus (Plate 161), are remarkable examples of his power. We are able to forget the materialistic devices used—such, for instance, as the embroidered velvet robes which the Christ wears—by reason of the truth and religious passion which has inspired the artist. But all Zarcello’s figures display his faults, excited gestures, confused drapery, and a want of care in the modelling of the extremities.

Among his single statues we may mention the St. Jerome in the Cathedral of Murcia, of which there is a replica in the convent of the saint, three miles from the city. This statue is said by Antonio Alix, the latest historian of Zarcello, to be equal to Torrigiani’s St. Jerome, an estimate of praise which is surely excessive. Then there are the two busts of St. John the Baptist in the Church of San Juan, a St. Anthony—copied from Cano’s statue—a St. Francis, a Conception, and a Purissima, as well as numerous representations of the saints. Every church in Murcia contains some work of Zarcello. The statue of St. Veronica (Plate 162) in Ermita de Jesus is the best single figure that he achieved.

Zarcello stood alone. He was assisted in his{174} studio work by the members of his family, but no one of them inherited his talent. He seems to have had no outside pupils. With his death, which occurred in the year 1748, the history of ancient Spanish sculpture closes.{175}

[Image unavailable.]

Visigoth Crowns found near Toledo


[Image unavailable.]

Byzantine Crucifix and the Virgin in the Gothic Style. Provincial Museum of San Marcos, Leon


[Image unavailable.]

Wooden Crucifix with which the Troops of the Cid were harangued. The smaller Crucifix the Cid carried beneath his Armour. Salamanca Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Byzantine Chest, Toledo Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Roman Statue found in the Ruins of Salonica. Provincial Museum, Burgos


[Image unavailable.]

El Santo Cristo, Burgos Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Façade of the Cathedral, Santiago de Compostella


[Image unavailable.]

Portico of La Gloria, Santiago de Compostella Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of Carvings of the Portico of La Gloria, Santiago de Compostella


[Image unavailable.]

Colegiata de San Isidoro, Leon


[Image unavailable.]

Spandril of Gate of Pardon in the College of San Isidoro, Leon


[Image unavailable.]

Two Statues in the Archælogical Museum, Leon


[Image unavailable.]

San Vicente, Avila


[Image unavailable.]

Basilica of San Vicente, Avila, Principal West Entrance


[Image unavailable.]

Zamora Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Cloisters of San Pablo del Campo, Barcelona


[Image unavailable.]

Cloisters of the Monastery of Las Huelgas, Burgos


[Image unavailable.]

Tarragona Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Portal, Tarragona Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Burgos Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Toledo Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Leon Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of the Choir Stalls, Leon Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of the Choir Stalls, Leon Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

St. Mary Magdalene and Santo Domingo (Choir Stalls), Leon Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

San Celedonio and San Esteban (Choir Stalls), Leon Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Noah, and Adam and Eve (Choir Stalls), Leon Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Samson (Choir Stalls), Leon Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Esau (Choir Stalls), Leon Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of Portico, Santiago de Compostella


[Image unavailable.]

San Francisco. San Marcos Museum, Leon


[Image unavailable.]

Various Statues from the Cross Aisle, Leon Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Our Lady del Foro and the Offerings of the Kings, Cloisters, Leon Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

A Sepulchre in the Convent of Las Huelgas, Burgos


[Image unavailable.]

Sepulchres in the Old Cathedral, Salamanca


[Image unavailable.]

Statues of the Portico, Tarragona Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Puerta Alta de la Coroneria, Burgos Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

The Cloister Gate, Burgos Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

The Cloisters, Burgos Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of the Cloisters, Burgos Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of the Cloisters, Burgos Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

A Sepulchre, Las Huelgas, Burgos


[Image unavailable.]

Sepulchre of Archbishop Maurice, the Founder of the Cathedral, Burgos


[Image unavailable.]

Sepulchre of Archbishop Maurice, Founder of the Cathedral, Burgos


[Image unavailable.]

Sepulchre of the Infanta Doña Berenguela, daughter of San Fernando, Monastery of Las Huelgas, Burgos


[Image unavailable.]

Tomb of Jaime de Aragon, Tarragona Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Sepulchre of Martin, First Bishop of Leon, Leon Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Sepulchre of Don Ordoño II., Leon Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Sepulchre of the Martyrs, Basilica de San Vicente, Avila


[Image unavailable.]

Sepulchre of Archbishop Lopez de Luna in the Church of La Seo, Zaragoza


[Image unavailable.]

Our Lady la Mayor, Statue of Silver, Burgos Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Statue of Our Lady de la Vega, Salamanca


[Image unavailable.]

Statue of Our Lady de la Blanca, in the Principal Porch, Leon Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

St. Michael slaying the Devil, Silver Statue by Juan de Arfé. Provincial Museum, Salamanca


[Image unavailable.]

Diptych in the Camarin of Santa Teresa, Escorial


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of the Altar-screen of the Capilla de Santiago, Toledo Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Altar-screen in the Capilla de Santiago, Toledo Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Chapel of Santiago, containing the Sepulchres of Don Alvaro de Luna and that of his wife Doña Juana, Toledo Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of the Altar-piece in the Capilla de la Trinidad, Toledo


[Image unavailable.]

Altar-piece carved in Wood, end of XVth Century. Valladolid Museum


[Image unavailable.]

Centre of a Wooden Altar-piece, end of XVth Century. Valladolid Museum


[Image unavailable.]

Chapel of St. Anne, Burgos Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Details of the Altar-piece in the Chapel of St. Anne, Burgos Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Sepulchre of Don Juan II. and Doña Isabel, La Cartuja, Burgos


[Image unavailable.]

Sepulchre of Don Juan II. and Doña Isabel, La Cartuja, Burgos


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of the Sepulchre of Don Juan II. and Doña Isabel, La Cartuja, Burgos


[Image unavailable.]

Sepulchre of Infante Don Alonso, son of Isabella I., La Cartuja, Burgos


[Image unavailable.]

Sepulchre of Don Juan de Padella. Provincial Museum, Burgos


[Image unavailable.]

High Altar, La Cartuja, Burgos


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of the High Altar, La Cartuja, Burgos


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of the High Altar, La Cartuja, Burgos


[Image unavailable.]

Choir Stalls, La Cartuja, Burgos


[Image unavailable.]

High Altar, Santa Gadea del Cid, Burgos


[Image unavailable.]

High Altar of the Church of Our Lady del Pilar, Zaragoza


[Image unavailable.]

Bas-relief in the Altar-piece, Chapel Royal, Granada


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of the Sepulchre of the Catholic Sovereigns, Royal Chapel, Granada


[Image unavailable.]

Sepulchre of the Infante Juan, only son of Ferdinand and Isabella, Church of Santo Tomás, Avila


[Image unavailable.]

Carvings of the Principal Chapel, by Borgoña, Burgos Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Back Part of the High Altar, Burgos Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Tras-Sagrario, by Felipe de Borgoña, Burgos Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Tras-Sagrario, by Felipe de Borgoña, Burgos Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Upper Part of the Choir Stalls, carved by Berriguete and Borgoña, Toledo Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Upper Part of the Choir Stalls, carved by Berruguete and Borgoña, Toledo Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Upper Part of the Choir Stalls, carved by Berruguete and Borgoña, Toledo Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Upper Part of the Choir Stalls, carved by Berruguete and Borgoña, Toledo Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Upper Part of the Choir Stalls, carved by Berruguete and Borgoña, Toledo Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Upper Part of the Choir Stalls, carved by Berruguete and Borgoña, Toledo Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Upper Part of the Choir Stalls, carved by Berruguete and Borgoña Toledo Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of the Choir Stalls: Reconquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella, Toledo Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]


Detail of the Choir Stalls: Reconquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella, Toledo Cathedral

[Image unavailable.]

Detail of the Choir Stalls: Reconquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella, Toledo Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of the Choir Stalls: Reconquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella, Toledo Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of the Choir Stalls: Reconquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella, Toledo Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of the Choir Stalls: Reconquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella, Toledo Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of the Choir Stalls: Reconquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella, Toledo Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of the Choir Stalls: Reconquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella, Toledo Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of the Choir Stalls: Reconquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella, Toledo Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of the Choir Stalls: Reconquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella, Toledo Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of the High Altar, Chapel of the “Condestable,” Burgos Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Altar-piece, by F. de Borgoña, in the Royal Chapel, Granada


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of Altar-screen, Granada: King Ferdinand the Catholic


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of Altar-screen, Granada: Queen Isabel the Catholic


[Image unavailable.]

Boabdil giving up the Keys of Granada to the Catholic Sovereigns. Fragment of the Altar-piece in the Royal Chapel, Granada


[Image unavailable.]

Choir Stalls at San Benito, Valladolid.


[Image unavailable.]

Back of a Choir Stall. Valladolid Museum


[Image unavailable.]

Fragments of Choir Stalls. Valladolid Museum


[Image unavailable.]

Several Fragments of Choir Stalls. Valladolid Museum


[Image unavailable.]

Fragments of Choir Stalls, by Andrés de Najera. Valladolid Museum


[Image unavailable.]

Stalls of San Benito, by Andrés de Najera, Valladolid


[Image unavailable.]

Stalls of San Benito, by Andrés de Najera, Valladolid


[Image unavailable.]

Stalls of San Benito, by Andrés de Najera, Valladolid


[Image unavailable.]

Wooden Panels, Murcia Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Abraham’s Sacrifice and St. Sebastian, by Berruguete. Valladolid Museum


[Image unavailable.]

Sepulchre of Archbishop Tavera, by Alonso Berruguete, Hospital de Afuera, Toledo


[Image unavailable.]

Sepulchre, by Berruguete, in San Jeronimo, Granada


[Image unavailable.]

Statue of St. Secundus, by Berruguete, Church of San Secundo, Avila


[Image unavailable.]

San Benito. Valladolid Museum


[Image unavailable.]

The Transept, Cathedral of La Seo, Zaragoza


[Image unavailable.]

Sepulchre of the Marques de Villena and Retablo in the Monastery del Parral, Segovia


[Image unavailable.]

Custodia by Juan Arfé, Avila Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Statue of Don Cristobal de Rojas y Sandoval, Church of San Pedro de Lerma, Burgos


[Image unavailable.]

Detail of the Statue


[Image unavailable.]

St. Jerome, by Gaspar de Becerra, Burgos Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Altar-screen, by Juan de Juni, Segovia Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Christ in the Tomb, by Juan de Juni. Valladolid Museum


[Image unavailable.]

Pieta, by Hernandez. Valladolid Museum


[Image unavailable.]

The Baptism of Our Lord, by Hernandez. Valladolid Museum


[Image unavailable.]

St. Francis, by Hernandez. Valladolid Museum


[Image unavailable.]

The Crucifixion, by Gregorio Hernandez, Chapel of the ex-monastic Church of “Conjo,” Santiago


[Image unavailable.]

Our Lady of Sorrows, Church of “Conjo,” Santiago


[Image unavailable.]

La Dolorosa, by Salvador Carmona, Salamanca Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Flagellation of Christ, by Salvador Carmona, Salamanca Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Head of St. Paul. Valladolid Museum


[Image unavailable.]

High Altar, Seville Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Oratory and Screen of Isabella la Catolica, Seville


[Image unavailable.]

Puerta del Perdon, Seville Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Virgin and Child, by P. Torrigiano. Seville Museum


[Image unavailable.]

St. Jerome, by Torrigiano. Seville Museum


[Image unavailable.]

Statue of Faith, Top of Giralda Tower, Seville


[Image unavailable.]

St. Ignatius Loyola, by Montañes. University Chapel, Seville


[Image unavailable.]

St. Frances Xavier, by Montañes. University Chapel, Seville


[Image unavailable.]

Our Lord Crucified, by Montañes, The Sacristy, Seville Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

The Immaculate Conception, by Montañes. University Chapel, Seville


[Image unavailable.]

The Immaculate Conception, by Montañes, Seville Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

St. Bruno, by Montañes. Seville Museum


[Image unavailable.]

Our Lady de las Cuevas and Child, by Montañes. Seville Museum


[Image unavailable.]

St. Bruno, by Montañes, Cadiz Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Justice, by Solis. Seville Museum


[Image unavailable.]

The Conception of the Virgin, by Martinez, Seville Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

The Crucifixion, at Triana, Seville


[Image unavailable.]

Our Lord, Sculpture in Wood, Hospital de la Caridad, Seville


[Image unavailable.]

High Altar in the Chapel, Hospital de la Caridad, Seville


[Image unavailable.]

Our Lady of Sorrows, by Luisa Roldan, Cadiz Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

Head of John the Baptist, Granada


[Image unavailable.]

Head of John the Baptist, Granada


[Image unavailable.]

Head of John the Baptist, Granada


[Image unavailable.]

Statue of St. Bruno, in the Chartreuse de Miraflores, Burgos


[Image unavailable.]

St. Bruno, by Alonso Cano, in the Cartuja, Granada


[Image unavailable.]

Statue of the Magdalene, formerly in the Cartuja, Granada


[Image unavailable.]

St. Francis, by Pedro de Mena, Toledo Cathedral


[Image unavailable.]

The Last Supper, by Zarcello, Ermita de Jesus, Murcia


[Image unavailable.]

St. Veronica, by Salcillo, Ermita de Jesus, Murcia


[A] Pierre Paris, Essai sur l’Art et l’industrie de l’Espagne Primitive, 1830-4, vol. ii. p. 308. Mr. Havelock Ellis has chosen the Lady of Elche, on account of this symbolic character, as the frontispiece of his illuminating book, “The Soul of Spain.”

[B] For a fuller account of the history of polychrome sculpture we refer the reader to M. Marcel Dieulafoy’s La Statuaire Polychrome en Espagne, from which many of the facts in this chapter have been taken.