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

Main Altar (detail)

c. 1540
Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Saragossa

Damian Forment was one of the foremost creators of Spanish altarpieces in the early 16th century. Beginning as a Gothic sculptor, he gradually discarded the medieval style and moved towards Renaissance forms. The first stage was the introduction of Renaissance imagery within his Gothic structure; then, from 1527, Forment worked out an entirely new type of altarpiece. Late in the year 1537 he began work on the altarpiece of Santo Domingo de la Calzada, in which he employs typically Castilian themes: tritons, nereids, and nautical themes, treated as a decorative frieze. The Castilian school had borrowed such motifs from Italian artists, incorporating them into a style rooted in Hispano-Flemish tradition.