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Juan de Borgoña

Saint Clare of Assisi


Juan de Borgoña
Active in Toledo and Ávila, 1495-1536


Saint Clare of Assisi


About 1515


Oil and tempera on wood


156.2 x 85.1 cm


Purchase, gift of Murray G. Ballantyne and Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest, inv. 1972.1


Western Art

An intriguing figure or of Burgundian descent, Juan clearly was exposed to Central Italian painting. His work reveals the influence of Ghirlandaio. His presence in Toledo in 1494 is evident as he worked closely with the leading master, Berruguete. He was employed on a major cycle of frescoes for the library of the cathedral, unfortunately destroyed. He is much-appreciated for his polychromy of sculpture, shrine and monstrance designs, and illusionistic architectural decorations. Together with Berruguete, he played a crucial role in the introduction of Renaissance painting in Castile and León. Saint Clare of Assisi was one of the first followers of Saint Francis and the founder, in the early thirteenth century, of the Order of Poor Ladies (subsequently called Saint Clare), a Franciscan monastery of nuns. The face in Juan’s panel as well as the delineation of trees and shrubbery with a discrete rocky outcropping against a level pasture is typical of his work.

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