Apostle or Saint

Alonso Berruguete Spanish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 535

The figure’s dynamic twist and its finish on three sides suggest that this sculpture stood on an outer corner of a retablos, or a multistoried altarpiece composed of sculptures and paintings. That larger ensemble, and the unidentified chapel or church of its origin, would have provided more clues to the bearded figure’s identity.

Berruguete visited Italy in the age of Michelangelo and returned to Spain to become one of the country’s most important sculptors. His expressive figures, often represented in dramatic movement, stand at the head of that country’s centuries-long tradition of carved and painted sculpture.

Apostle or Saint, Alonso Berruguete (Spanish, Parades de Nava (Palencia) ca. 1488–1561 Toledo), Polychrome and gilt walnut, Spanish, Valladolid

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