Alejo de Vahia

Undoubtedly one of the most enigmatic masters of the late 15th and early 16th centuries, it is not known where he was born, although he was probably of Nordic origin, as his artistic training seems to have come from the Lower Rhine area. It is known that he was a resident of the village of Becerril de Campos, where he worked intensively and left a large number of pieces made by his own hand and those of his workshop or collaborators.

His figure and productions began to emerge in the 20th century, when a series of sculptures were grouped together which show the characteristics of the late Gothic period and which are related to each other by common details which indicate a very personal style. These images are mainly distributed throughout the provinces of Valladolid and Palencia, coinciding in general terms with the area of Tierra de Campos.

The abundance of works in his style reveals that he must have enjoyed considerable prestige among his contemporaries.

Stylistic features of his production

From the point of view of composition, he made use of basic geometric schemes that led to a strong resemblance between his sculptures. The faces are either oval, elongated and thin, or circular, flattened and more strongly expressive. The eyes are usually bulging and drooping slightly to the sides, the nose is sharp and somewhat rounded at the tip, and the unmistakable mouths are stretched out in a straight line interrupted by two small vertical folds at the corners of the mouth. The most common way of arranging the hair is to part it in the centre, with two large waves coming out at the level of the ears, and from there, divided into locks which intertwine to form curves. The treatment of the beard is very characteristic. Starting at the corners of the mouth, he draws symmetrical waves that leave a cup-shaped gap below the lower lip. When the hair is curled, the beard also has circular curls.

When the treatment of the human body is essential for the subject itself, the anatomy is schematised; we can see this in the representations of the Crucified or Recumbent Christ, which had very pronounced ribs, or with a much softer treatment in the representations of Ecce Homo or Saint Sebastian.