BORGOÑA, Juan de
(active from 1495, Toledo, d. 1535, Toledo)

Biography

Spanish painter. His name indicates that he came from northern France, and he is first documented as working in the cloister of Toledo Cathedral in 1495. His arrival in Spain coincided with that of Juan de Flandes. Both painters were connected with Pedro Berruguete, which suggests that the three had met previously, in either Flanders or Italy. Borgoña's style indicates that he had studied painting in Italy, but it also contains traces of Flemish sensibility. The influence of Domenico Ghirlandaio and Gerard David is discernible, and the influence of Piero della Francesca and Melozzo da Forli in Borgoña's treatment of light can be observed. Castilian elements feature in his work, notably the use of gold backgrounds and a wealth of decoration. Borgoña's compositions are finely balanced, like those of the Italian High Renaissance, with skilfully drawn figures portrayed in elegant, tranquil poses. They are set against open spaces leading on to craggy landscapes reminiscent of Umbria or against gold embroidered drapery.