Maestro Benito has long been associated with the large panel of the Martyrdom of Saint Ursula, completed around 1531, which originally decorated the altar of the Chapel of the Eleven Thousand Virgins in the cathedral of Palencia and which shows that the Master's style was responsive to the new influence of the works of Raphael and his followers.1 As Diaz Padrón and Padron Merida observed, the distinctive style of the heads of both the Virgin and the Christ Child, with their shadowed and lidded eyes and large foreheads, find ready parallels with those of the eponymous saint and her attendants in the altarpiece in Palencia.2 The Christ Child is shown holding in his left hand an orb surmounted by a cross, while raising his right hand in benediction, symbolic of his role as the Saviour of Mankind.3
1 See, for example, C.R. Post, A History of Spanish Painting, vol. IX, part I, The beginning of the Renaissance in Castile and Leon, Cambridge, Mass. 1947, pp. 468–470; and I. Vandevivere, Juan de Flandes, exh. cat., Madrid 1986, p. 101.
2 See Post 1947, reproduced fig. 170.
3 See M. Trens, María. Iconografía de la Virgen en el arte español, Madrid 1947, p. 612.
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