SILOE, Gil de
(d. ca. 1501, Burgos)

Main Altar

1496-99
Wood
Monastery of Miraflores, Burgos

Isabel the Catholic commissioned from Gil de Siloe, a native of northern Europe, French, Flemish or German origin, the great altarpiece in the Carthusian monastery at Miraflores (Cartuja de Miraflores). The polychromy and some figures are the work of Diego de la Cruz, part of the gold brought back by Columbus in his second voyage to America. The altarpiece, a symbol of the Eucharist, is constructed round a great centrally-placed circle, radiating like a rose window in a Gothic cathedral. The tortuous, allover ornament is consistent with the expressionistic style of the sculptures, which already look forward to the 16th century.