Originally from the Basque country, Juan de Anchieta travelled to Valladolid in 1551 to be apprenticed as a sculptor. While in Valladolid, he familiarised himself with works by lauded Spanish Renaissance sculptors Alonso Berruguete and Juan de Juni. Having completed his apprenticeship in 1557, Juan de Anchieta was immediately hired by Gaspar Becerra to work as an assistant on the altarpiece of the Cathedral of Astorga. Becerra, who had just returned from a ten year tenure in Rome, was perhaps of most decisive influence on Anchieta’s artistic style. Having returned from Rome, where Becerra worked with Giorgio Vasari, and was influenced by the work of Michelangelo, his collaboration with Anchieta on the altarpiece in Astorga shows clearly the first establishments of a Spanish Romanism, where the characteristics associated with the Mannerism of the Italian school were translated to a distinctly Spanish interpretation in wood. The opulent, heavy folds of drapery, frowning, square faces, impressively muscled bodies and complicated poses are all Michelangelesque features which first appeared in this collaborative work, and to which Juan de Anchieta would return repeatedly over his career, which would take him across the entirety of Northern Spain.
The present, impressive statue of the Bound Christ, is imbued with Mannerist innovations which Anchieta brought to Northern Spain. Compare with Anchieta's St Jerome, as well as the Corpus from the Retablo mayor de Simancas for the elongated muscular torso (Vassallo, op. cit., figs. 10 and 212).
L. Vasallo Toranzo, Juan de Anchieta: Aprendiz y oficial de escultura en Castilla (1551 – 1571), Valladolid, 2012, figs. 10 and 212
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.