Museo Nacional Colegio de San Gregorio : Michelin's recommendations
No other place could provide a more beautiful showcase for the National Museum of Polychrome Sculpture than the Saint Gregory College, a major building in the Isabelline style. The building, founded at the end of the 15C by Alonso de Burgos, confessor of Isabella the Catholic, is distinctive firstly because of its richly decorated doorway. Attributed to Gil de Siloé and Simon of Cologne, two masters of the art, the doorway has a very hierarchical composition, leading the eye first of all to the porch then to the heraldic motif which is on top of it. The statues on display, mainly in polychrome wood, bear witness to the vitality of Castilian sculpture, dominated by Valladolid in the 16C and 17C. One of its masters was Alonso Berruguete, who studied with Michelangelo. His Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian has a great deal of expression and his altarpiece for Saint Benedict's Church is wonderful (taken to pieces, it is on show in different rooms). Juan de Juni, also from the 16C and just as highly regarded, created more dramatic works, like the Entombment. A century later, Gregorio Fernández, creator of a very fine recumbent Christ, is easily distinguished by his emotive and tortured faces. The museum of course has a number of other works and artists on show, such as Pompeyo Leoni, Juan de Mena and Philip of Burgundy. Throughout the visit, the beauties of San Gregorio are revealed: its panelled ceilings, a chapel designed by Juan Guas and especially an impressive patio on two levels, the upper gallery of which is emphasised by a magnificent balustrade.