From the glimmer of a jewel to the sheen of armour, Bermejo’s ability to capture light, colours and textures in oil painting was unparalleled in 15th-century Spain.
Bartolomé de Cárdenas – more commonly known as 'Bermejo' (c1440-c1501) – was one of the greatest Spanish artists of the second half of the 15th century. Painting in the Flemish style, he helped introduce the Renaissance style to Spain.
As part of the National Gallery's Spanish season, a selection of Berjemo's works (of which only 20 are known to have survived) will be on show, including several paintings not seen in the UK before, six of which have never been shown outside Spain. These include the recently restored Desplà Pietà (1490), named after the man who commissioned the work – Lluís Desplà, archdeacon of Barcelona Cathedral, where the painting has been since the 15th century.
Taking centre stage will be the newly conserved Saint Michael Triumphant over the Devil with the Donor Antoni Joan (1468), which will be shown alongside the first surviving document relating to the artist – a receipt for partial payment of the painting.