Horcajo de la Sierra




Gothic altarpiece, XVth century
Horcajo de la Sierra. Madrid.
Pedro Berruguete altarpiece s.XVI.
Size: 7 x 4 m. approx.
Original preserved in the Almudena Cathedral, Madrid.
Commissioned by the Archdiocese of Madrid.

The Gothic church of St. Peter in Cathedra, consists of a single nave with a loft choir at the bottom and a polygonal apse reinforced with buttresses outside. Until the middle of 1950 possessed inside the Gothic altarpiece of the sixteenth century that containing various Flemish panels, an image of San Pedro and a burial at his feet. The work, attributed to Pedro Berruguete, consists of sixteen tables, with Marian scenes and some from the life of St. Gregory. Currently, the altarpiece can be seen in the Almudena Cathedral in Madrid.

The actual assembly of the altarpiece is different than had originally. To accommodate the space now occuped in the Cathedral of Madrid, the set was placed vertically. The original composition instead was horizontal and was adapted to the walls of the octagonal apse. Multiple photographs in B/W of the period served to determine the number of conserved tables did not correspond with the origin number, so it was necessary a new composition.

Reproduction placed in the church of Sierra Horcajo.

The detail photographs taken of the original in Almudena Cathedral served as reference for modeling the reliefs, textures and new tables for the reproduction. The high resolution photographs in front of the paintings transferred, contained all the information that adorned the dotted gilt funds and subsequently were recreated.

Modeling tables details.

Removing the Papelgel after the transfer.

Golden, stew and dotted in paintings
The original paintings were resolved, like others of that time, mixing various plastics resources, in order to beautify and ennoble the motives of religious inspiration. Funds, nimbus, jewelry, clothing and other items were worked in relief. Incisions were applied as radial lines that adorned heads, who drew dotted motifs and decorations neater imagination. Many of these items are covered with gold leaf. On some areas of this painstaking work color was applied, recreating landscapes and scenes. The golden breathe in some areas, in others scratching the paint to show gold applied at the bottom.

Papelgel is a versatile material that can apply metallic paint at the bottom of the images. Thus, golden funds are fully integrated into the paint. The color, where gold glazes breathe, the areas where bowl preparation appearshave a harmonious and convincing.

Surface appearance.

Golden background painting detail.
The frame
Due to the large size of the altarpiece and since all the components function as a single object, A metal structure was designed and adapted to the geometry of space and the walls of the Church, as the new composition.

The new framework model used nowadays, was made of all columns, friezes and other decorative elements. Were modeled and carved. With the help of molds were backed repeated motifs. Finally, gold was applied on the structure and mounted.


Moldings copy.

Frame pieces.

Metal estructure mounting test.

Church assembly.





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