(b. ca. 1480, Valencia, d. 1540, Logrono)

Retable of the High Altar (detail)

Cathedral, Huesca

In Aragon the most significant sculptor of the sixteenth century was Damián Forment, who is known to have worked in Valencia shortly after the year 1500. In 1509 he set up his workshop in Saragossa, where he remained until his death in 1540, without ceasing to maintain his contacts with the Mediterranean coast. His art is dominated by a severe decorative concept that lends variety to the composition without degenerating into restlessness. In 1509 he undertook to carve the superb retable of Nuestra Senora del Pilar in Saragossa, a work in a mixed style, with Renaissance figures surrounded by Gothic ornament. We are indebted to Forment for the retable of Huesca cathedral, completed in 1534. His original design for the great retable of the monastery of Poblet, commissioned in 1527, is also one of his masterpieces. During the sixteenth century, Forment's style played an important part in the development of Spanish sculpture, producing a number of notable sculptors.