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Picardo, León

Saint-Omer?, Picardía - Burgos, 1547

As his surname indicates, this painter and sculptor was probably born in the French region of Picardy. He is documented in the parish of San Gil, Burgos, in 1509. He was part of the figurative dialogue included in Diego de Sagredo's Las Medidas del romano, which is considered the Spanish Renaissance's leading book of architectural theory. This offers an approximate idea of Picardo's importance among his contemporaries. Documents show he was involved in the Conflict of the Communities, where, despite his closeness to Emperor Charles V directly after that monarch's arrival in Spain, he took the part of the rebel noblemen. He was commissioned by leading figures, including Cardinal Cisneros and the constables of Castile, who hired him in 1513 to make the altarpiece of Cervera de Pisuerga. Stylistically, this entirely sculptural work closely resembles that of Felipe Bigarny. On January 22, 1515, at the behest of Francisco Gumiel, he began work on the Saint Bartholomew Altarpiece for the church of San Esteban in Burgos. The discovery of this work, which was purchased by the Brotherhood of Saint Catherine and is at the church of San Lesmes in Burgos, has been fundamental for defining Picardo's style. As Silvia Moroto and Luengo Pedrera have indicated, Picardo's style owes much to Flemish painting, especially art made in Bruges at the turn of the fifteenth to sixteenth centuries. In certain aspects, his work also resembles that of Jan Provost, as well as that of the author of The Lamentation and Christ on the Cross at the museum of the Cathedral Saint Sauveur, and most of all, that of Gérard David. Picardo coincides with David in the large number of figures in his compositions, their monumentality, and the visually rigid blocks of his folds. However, both his choice of architecture and his treatment of the landscape are reminiscent in some ways of Italian art, which Picardo may have learned from Bigarny. Besides these Italian influences, we can also mention the Spanish influence that grew increasingly strong in his work over the course of his career. Beginning in 1523, he applied polychrome technique to his sculptural retables at Burgos Cathedral, and between 1529 and 1531 he made the paintings for the main altarpiece at Oviedo Cathedral. Another of his works was the Saint Vincent Altarpiece documented in 1524, which belonged to the church of Santa Casilda in Briviesca (Burgos). One part of this work is now at the Museo Diocesano in Burgos. The discovery of the Saint Bartholomew Altarpiece mentioned above has also made it possible to attribute another work to Picardo and his workshop: The Baptism of Saint Augustine and his Son, Adeodatus, by Saint Ambrose in the presence of Saint Monica (Museo de Burgos); The Wedding at Canna, for the church of Belorado (Burgos); two panels from The Story of Saint Catherine at the church of Santibáñez-Zarzarguda (Burgos) and some of the panels from the Altarpieces of the two Saints John, for the church of Herrera de Valdecañas (Palencia).

Artworks (3)

La Purificación de la Virgen
Oil on panel, 1501 - 1535
Picardo, León
The Annunciation
Oil on panel, 1501 - 1535
Picardo, León
Paisaje con arquitectura
Oil on panel, 1501 - 1535
Picardo, León

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