St. Dominic of Silos

Bermejo was a 15th-century Spanish painter who was heavily influenced by Flemish art and known for his painstaking attention to detail. The man in this picture is St. Dominic, the abbot and founder of the Spanish monastery of Silos.

The portrait of the saint is outstandingly realistic. It shows him seated on a Gothic throne, holding a book. The decoration of the throne is extremely detailed, like that of Flemish painters such as Van Eyck or Van der Weyden. His vestments, mitre and cope are magnificently decorated. On his cope, you can make out figures such as St. Peter with his keys, St. Catherine with her bladed wheel, and St. Andrew with his diagonal saltire cross, the symbol of his martyrdom.

The figures in the niches represent the seven Virtues. The four Cardinal Virtues are below: Courage, Justice, Prudence and Temperance, and the three Theological Virtues are above them: Faith, Hope and Charity, or Love, which is greater than any other virtue, which is why the artist has placed her at the highest point of the picture.

(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Catalina Serrano Romero
English translation (a) Thisbe Burns