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Art  &  Artist



 Domenico Beccafumi



Berruguete Pedro

(b Paredes de Nava, nr Palencia, c. 1450; d Paredes de Nava, c. 1500).

Painter. According to some writers, he was painter to the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand II, King of Aragon, and Isabella, Queen of Castile, and to Philip the Fair (later Philip I, King of Castile, reg 1506) before his wife, Joanna ‘the Mad’, became Queen of Castile in 1504. Between 1470 and 1475 Berruguete executed the altarpiece of St Helen (Paredes de Nava, S Juan), which demonstrates his mastery of oil-painting techniques. A document of 1477, cited by Luigi Pungileoni in 1822 but no longer traceable, records the presence in Urbino of a ‘Pietro Spagnuolo pittore’, who could be Berruguete. Thought to have been in Urbino from 1475 to 1478, he may have assisted the Flemish painter Justus of Ghent in the execution of a number of works for Federigo da Montefeltro, including those for the decoration of his library and studiolo in the Palazzo Ducale in Urbino. It has been suggested that Berruguete’s participation in this work was due to the influence of one of his relatives, a Dominican friar in Florence. He may, alternatively, have gone to Italy specifically to join Justus of Ghent’s team. Paintings sometimes attributed to Berruguete in Urbino include some of the 28 works forming the series of Portraits of Famous Men (Urbino, Pal. Ducale; Paris, Louvre) for the studiolo, Federigo da Montefeltro, his Son Guidobaldo and Others Listening to a Discourse (London, Hampton Court, Royal Col.) and Federigo da Montefeltro and the Order of the Garter (Urbino, Pal. Ducale). In addition, the series of works depicting the Liberal Arts (Berlin, Kaiser-Friedrich Mus., destr.; London, N.G.) are sometimes attributed to him. Also while in Italy he is thought to have painted the Dead Christ with Angels (Milan, Brera) and St Sebastian (Urbino, Pal. Ducale) and to have worked on Piero della Francesca’s Brera Altarpiece (Virgin and Child; mid-1470s; Milan, Brera), painting the hands of Federigo and perhaps his helmet.


Virgin and Child


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