Who is Gaspar Becerra?

By Gwylym Owen

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Gaspar Becerra (1520–1570) was a Spanish painter and sculptor.

He was born at Baeza in Andalusia. He studied at Rome, it is said under Michelangelo, and assisted Giorgio Vasari in painting the hall of the Palazzo della Cancelleria. He afterward contributed to the anatomical plates of Juan Valverde de Amusco’s Historia de la composicion del cuerpo humano (Rome, 1556). After his recompense to Spain he was extensively employed by Philip II, and garlanded many of the rooms in the palace at Madrid taking into consideration frescoes. He along with painted altar-pieces for several of the churches, most of which have been destroyed. His fame as a sculptor a propos surpassed that as a painter. His best deed was a magnificent figure of the Virgin Mary, which was destroyed during the French war. He became court painter at Madrid in 1563, and played a prominent allocation in the creation of the Good arts in Spain.

Among his pupils were Miguel Barroso, who worked at Toledo in 1585, and, after becoming royal painter in 1589, painted some frescoes in the El Escorial; Bartolomé del Río Bernuís; Francisco López and Jerónimo Vázquez.

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