Tomb John II and Isabella of Portugal, Siloe

Tomb John II and Isabella of Portugal, Siloe
Tomb John II and Isabella of Portugal, Siloe

Throughout the history of Spain, the city of Burgos has been strongly linked to the monarchy and nobility of this country and in this context it is not surprising that the monarch Juan II of Castile had chosen the Monastery of the Cartuja de Miraflores as a burial place. The monarch of Castile himself was in charge of sponsoring the foundation of the Cartuja located on the outskirts of the city of Burgos, which would house, in addition to his own tomb, an important collection of Flemish painting and different engravings and miniatures, however when the The king died on July 22, 1454 in Valladolid. The works in Miraflores were still far from being completed, so he was buried in the Monastery of San Pablo in Valladolid while waiting for the construction of Burgos to be finished.


The Miraflores works had been entrusted to Juan de Colonia who, due to his advanced age, did not see how the project was finished either, his son and successor to his workshop Simón de Colonia taking charge of it. For some time the works in the Burgos complex were paralyzed, the power struggles during the reign of Enrique IV did not favor artistic creations and it was precisely as a result of this situation of political instability when in 1486 Queen Isabella of Castile decided to resume the project of Miraflores and order the sepulcher of hisparents Juan II of Castile and Isabella of Portugal to the sculptor Gil de Siloé. Tensions with the nobility made it increasingly necessary to establish an authoritarian monarchy, solemn and powerful whose image would allow it to make against the political pretensions of the most powerful families.

The queen took advantage of the situation to also order a tomb to honor the memory of the infante Alfonso. The works did not begin until shortly before the 1990s, but once the works began, they went quickly and in 1492 the tomb of the infant was already finished and the following year that of his parents.

This is a work made in alabaster in which the canons of the time are followed by placing the two deceased lying down, slightly turning their backs to each other and each one turned to a different side in order to facilitate their vision to the viewer. The kings appear lying on a platform in the shape of an eight-pointed star that has been created from the combination of a square and a rhombus. In four of the points of the star appear the images of the evangelists while in the rest of the points we find allegories and images of the apostles.

On the other hand, the image of John II is represented with the royal symbols: the crown, the mantle, the sceptre… at his feet two lions appear fighting under the cushions in those who rest their feet. The queen carries a prayer book in her hands and is represented with numerous jewels. At her feet rest a lion, a child and a dogas a sign of his fidelity to the king.

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