ZARZA, Vasco de la
(d. 1524, Ávila)
Tomb of Don Alonso de Madrigal1518
The work of sculptor Vasco de la Zarza prepared the entry of the Renaissance style to Spanish sculpture. Zarza may have been trained in Italy or under Fancelli, an Italian sculptor in Ávila. The affinity between his style and that of the Italian sculptor is revealed in the magnificent tomb in Toledo cathedral carved for his protector, Don Juan Carillo de Albornoz, in which the delicate Plateresque ornamentation is combined with a classical outline.
In 1518 he completed his most famous work: the ostentious tomb of Don Alonso de Madrigal (El Tostado), Bishop of Ávila, behind the high altar in Ávila cathedral. Far from submerging the figure of Don Alonso, the wealth of decoration glitters around him like an allegory of the treasures of the spiritual and religious life. The style of Vasco de la Zarza exerted a broad influence in Toledo, Ávila, and Segovia.