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

The Birth of the Virgin

Chapter room, Cathedral, Toledo

After the death of Pedro Berruguete, the painter of the Toledo Cathedral, Borgoña received an important commission: the fresco decoration of the chapter room and its small antechamber in the Toledo Cathedral. Borgoña frescoed the chapter room between 1509 and 1511 with eight scenes from the life of the Virgin on the lateral walls and three scenes of the Passion and a large Last Judgment on the end walls. Many of the scenes of the Virgin's life take place within complicated architectural settings, and the masterful use of perspective provides a spacious setting for the calm, controlled narration of episodes from literary sources.

The Birth of the Virgin is one of the scenes in the chapter room, the influence of Domenico Ghirlandaio's frescoes in the Santa Maria Novella in Florence is evident.