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Spanish artists, father and son, who are respectively associated with the beginnings of the Renaissance and Mannerist styles in their country. Pedro (b Paredes de Nava, nr. Valladolid, c.1450; d Paredes de Nava, c.1504) is said to have been court painter to Ferdinand and Isabella. He may be identifiable with the ‘Pietro Spagnuolo’ employed in 1477 with Joos van Wassenhove on the decoration of the palace library at Urbino, but it is not until the 1480s that there is any firm documentation on his career. He did a good deal of work in fresco in Toledo Cathedral, but little of this remains. Most of his surviving paintings are altarpieces (several examples are in the Prado, Madrid); they are essentially in the Netherlandish idiom that prevailed in Spain at this time, but they show Renaissance influence in their spatial clarity and use of classical architectural details. Alonso (b Paredes de Nava, c.1488; d Toledo, 13/26 Sept. 1561), sculptor and painter, was the son and probably pupil of Pedro. Between about 1504 and 1517, he was in Italy, where his work included the completion of Filippino Lippi's Coronation of the Virgin (Louvre, Paris). By 1517 Berruguete was back in Spain (in Valladolid), and in the following year he was appointed court painter to Charles I (Emperor Charles V; see Habsburg). However, his career flourished mainly as a sculptor, chiefly in Toledo, where he spent most of his time between 1539 and his death. Among his finest works is a set of wooden choir stalls with carvings of biblical figures in Toledo Cathedral (1539–43). The expressive contrapposto and emotional intensity characteristic of his style reflected the influence of Michelangelo (who refers to Berruguete in his letters) and of the Laocoön, which he had studied in Rome. He is generally considered the greatest Spanish sculptor of the 16th century, his work having something of the spirit of El Greco, who succeeded him as the outstanding artist in Toledo.

Subjects: Art.

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