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Saint Dominic presides over an Auto da Fe

  • ‘Saint Dominic presides over an Auto da Fe’ © Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

    ‘Saint Dominic presides over an Auto da Fe’ © Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

     
  

Category

Painting

Date

1493 - 1499

Cultural background

Spanish School

Original title

Auto de Fe presidido por Santo Domingo de Guzmán
Prado Museum
Madrid
Madrid
Madrid

Berruguete’s work is remarkable for its modernity, as demonstrated by the arrangement of the stage, and his skill at pictorial narration.

The scene places the spectator on a portable rostrum from which Saint Dominic is passing sentence on some Albigensian heretics, according to an episode in his biography. Some of the accused are already being burned, and others are awaiting judgement. The whole composition is a magnificent chronicle of Castile at the time of the Catholic Monarchs. The characters, in typical 15th-century dress, are depicted with astonishing realism, almost to the point of caricature, as can be seen by the figure sleeping beneath the saint. It comes from the sacristy of Santo Tomás in Avila.

Details of the work

Object
Painting

Dimensions
154 cm x 92 cm

Technique
Oil

Material
Board

  

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