The altarpiece of Saint Dominic of Silos by Bartolomé Bermejo
- The altarpiece of Saint Dominic of Silos by Bartolomé Bermejo
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In 1474, Bartolomé Bermejo was contracted to execute the altarpiece for the church of Saint Dominic of Silos in Daroca (Saragossa). Two of the panels and part of the architectural structure of this altarpiece (dismantled in the eighteenth century), are in the collection of the Prado Museum. The central panel, with the representation of Saint Dominic enthroned as a bishop, is considered by specialists to be a masterpiece of fifteenthcentury Spanish painting, and is attributed exclusively to Bermejo. The other panel, which represents Ferdinand I of Castile receiving Saint Dominic of Silos, seems to be a collaboration between the master and his closest pupil, Martin Bernat.
The original documentation, which is very extensive, concerns both the commission and the legal disputes that occurred throughout the creation of the altarpiece, which forced Bermejo to abandon it, leaving the completion up to his pupil alone. Moreover, the regulations of the painters’ guilds of the cities in Spain that regulated the organization and the practices of artists’ workshops in this period offer valuable information about the painting materials and practices in fifteenth-century Spain.
Saunders, D., Spring, M. and Meek, A. (eds) 2013. The Renaissance Workshop: The Materials and Techniques of Renaissance Art. London: Archetype publications in association with the British Museum. ISBN: 9781904982937:
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