(b. ca. 1480, Murcia, d. after 1521)


Spanish painter, born in Murcia, who until recently was known to art historians as "Pseudo Bramantino". He was the first Spanish painter to demonstrate a grasp of the Italian Renaissance style.

By about 1500 he made his way to Milan, where he came into contact with local painters such as Bramantino and Andrea Solario, who were followers of Bramante and Leonardo, respectively. Fernández, who seems to have received his early training from a Flemish or Hispano-Flemish artist, absorbed and transformed these powerful impulses into a linear, brittle Italianate style that is entirely distinctive and strangely beautiful. From Lombardy he went south to Rome, and then to Naples, where he was active from 1508 to 1512, and became a leading artist of the city. Over the next half dozen years, he lived in Rome and again in Naples, finally returning to northern Italy by around 1518.

In the following year, Fernández was once more on Spanish soil, executing an altarpiece dedicated to St Helen in the cathedral of Gerona, in collaboration with a local painter. The panels for this altarpiece show a somewhat attenuated version of the artist's Italian manner. In their totality, the paintings reveal the syncretistic fusion of Italian and Hispano-Flemish art that is characteristic of Spanish artists in this period. After the completion of this work in 1521, Fernández disappears from view.