Great retable of San Benito el Real

Alonso Berruguete1526 - 1532

Museo Nacional de Escultura

Museo Nacional de Escultura
Valladolid, Spain

The patriarch Abraham, captured in the moment when he was going to sacrifice his son, constitutes one of the most personal creations of Berruguete. Is the perfect image of the hopeless; everything in him dramatically screams. At his feet, Isaac, tied with no violence, that seems ready to assume his destiny. The decrease of narrative elements and the seemingly simplicity of the representation are inspired directly from Italian Mannerism. The work presents a dynamic structure, ruled by the diagonal line, and a great plastic power that shows multiple points of view that however, do not give less cohesion to the group. In contrast with the circular disposition of Isaac that reflect his submission, the raising rhythm of Abraham manages to violently reveal his internal tension, helping to strengthen small details such as the sharp beard that seems to nail the patriarch's chest.


  • Title: Great retable of San Benito el Real
  • Date Created: 1526 - 1532
  • place of origin: Monastery of San Benito el Real, Valladolid
  • Sculptor and painter: Alonso Berruguete
  • Physical Dimensions: w46 x h89 x d32 cm
  • Original Title: Isaac Sacrife
  • Type: Sculpture
  • External Link: CERES

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