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Pietà Attributed to Alonso Berruguete - Spain - Early 16th century
Pietà Attributed to Alonso Berruguete - Spain - Early 16th century - Sculpture Style Renaissance Pietà Attributed to Alonso Berruguete - Spain - Early 16th century - Pietà Attributed to Alonso Berruguete - Spain - Early 16th century - Renaissance Antiquités - Pietà Attributed to Alonso Berruguete - Spain - Early 16th century
Ref : 97224
90 000 €
Period :
<= 16th century
Provenance :
Medium :
Walnut wood, polychromy, gilding and hollowed out on the back
Dimensions :
l. 25.2 inch X H. 33.86 inch
Sculpture  - Pietà Attributed to Alonso Berruguete - Spain - Early 16th century <= 16th century - Pietà Attributed to Alonso Berruguete - Spain - Early 16th century Renaissance - Pietà Attributed to Alonso Berruguete - Spain - Early 16th century Antiquités - Pietà Attributed to Alonso Berruguete - Spain - Early 16th century
Galerie Alexandre Piatti

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Pietà Attributed to Alonso Berruguete - Spain - Early 16th century

This exceptional sculpture in walnut wood and large size represents a Virgin of Pity, also called Pietà. After the descent from the cross, Mary holds the dead Jesus in her lap. This very moving moment is not found in the Bible, but is spread, along with other new themes, in Europe via the movement of the Devotio moderna. This current of thought, born in the Germanic area at the end of the 15th century, aimed to reform the Church, to modernize the faith, to eliminate the intermediaries between the faithful and God and to make the holy figures models of life and piety but accessible by insisting on their humanity. By making faith more active and personal, Man becomes the source of his own salvation: earthly experiences become opportunities to imitate Christ during his own life on Earth, to act like him and thus merit salvation. During this period, devotion to the Virgin Mary also developed, particularly through the theme of the Virgin of Pity, popular in Europe throughout the 15th and 16th centuries. It is the pain of the Virgin, that of a bereaved mother who is presented to the faithful through the figures of Pietà. Sometimes shattered by grief, with a face marked by pain, and sometimes with a serene expression reflecting the acceptance of Jesus' sacrifice, these Virgins represent a wide range of emotions. The most famous of all is the one created by Michelangelo in 1498-1499, now in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The impact of this sculpture on the artistic scene of the time is more than important: the sculpting technique, the fineness of the details and Michelangelo's reputation make this Pietà one of the masterpieces of the Renaissance.
Several similarities can be found with our work: the posture of the Virgin, her youthful appearance for the mother of a 33 year old man, the slumped body of Christ and the important play of draperies on the Virgin's cloak. The face of Mary also has features that are found especially in Italian Virgins: the face is thin, symmetrical and very gentle. On the other hand, our piece differs from the one in Rome by the face of Christ marked by death, the wounds of the Passion that are present on his body (the stigmata: on the hand, the feet, on the right side of the thorax), and especially the loose and deformed posture of Christ that perfectly fits the knees of his mother. Made of polychromed and gilded wood, our piece highlights the diversity and richness of the textiles: the Virgin's dress, her cloak and the perizonium of Jesus are decorated with impressive motifs using the gilding technique of estofado.
Our piece is related to the work of the Spanish sculptor Alonso Berruguete and his workshop. A talented sculptor trained as a painter, Berruguete is known for his large altarpieces with complex composition and numerous figures. Elements of our Pietà can be found in other works of Berruguete's corpus and thus allow a comparison. In the Mayor altarpiece of the Monastery of La Mejorada in Olmedo (in the province of Valladolid in Castile and Leon), made between 1523 and 1526 by Berruguete and his workshop, we can see in several scenes that the motif of the characters' clothes is similar to that of our Virgin's dress: a red fabric, golden vegetal motifs, a large daisy and a linear border. Note that in the work of Berruguete, the Virgin wears a red dress with gold plant motifs in a regular manner. We also find similarities in composition with the Madonna della Cintola (1516-1517, Basilica of the Holy Spirit, Florence) which is one of the only works by Berruguete made during his stay in Italy that has come down to us.
Alonso Gonzalez Berruguete (c.1490- 1561) was a Spanish painter and sculptor who was one of the major figures of the Iberian Renaissance. He was the son of Pedro Berruguete, a painter who worked at the court of the Montefeltro family in Urbino and who introduced Quattrocento painting to Castile while maintaining the Flemish lineage inherited from the Spanish Netherlands.
These years of apprenticeship in Italy and the many influences he encountered there gave rise to a very personal and expressive style: reviving the aestheticism of the late Gothic period while modernizing it, he breathed life and spirit into the forms he created, going so far as to externalize the passion and feelings of his figures.
A complete artist, a true businessman and a competent workshop master, Alonso Berruguete left a large number of disciples and followers who would take up the exaggerated expressions of his figures to create a Spanish mannerism of which El Greco is the most eminent heir. An artist long unknown to the general public outside of Spain, Berruguete's art has been enjoying a new worldwide interest in recent decades, which is taking shape through studies of his drawings made in Italy; a review of his role in the renaissance of Spanish sculpture; and a wonderful exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in 2019-2020.
Very much inspired by Michelangelo's Pietà in its composition, our Pietà responds in many ways to the Spanish tradition of woodcarving. Made freshly after his return from Italy, this work demonstrates Berruguete's ability to adapt and modernize traditional Iberian sculpture, adding his own technical knowledge and the Italian models of his time8. Its excellent state of conservation allows us to enjoy the great delicacy of the details, the brilliance of the gilding and the colors, as well as the incredible technical skill of the craftsmen who made it.

Delevery information :

Please note that packing and shipping costs are not included in the price of the objects which are quoted ex shop.

Final amount including packing and shipment to be discussed with Galerie Alexandre Piatti.

Galerie Alexandre Piatti


Wood Sculpture Renaissance