Original wooden frame with the following inscription: “O DIVINA CELSII /V DO / QVIS DIGNEV/ ALEBIT TVAM RA / DIOS AM / CONTEMPLARI”. This Madonna and Child relief is part of a series of works of art, all of which are very much alike in size, materials, models, techniques and style, and which may be attributed, under Diego Siloe and Felipe Bigarny’s influences, to Gregorio Pardo.
Gregorio Pardo (Burgos, c. 1512/1513-1552) was Felipe Bigarny’s and his first wife’s María Sáez Pardo first son. In 1532, when he was about nineteen years old, he moved to Zaragoza to work at Damian Forment’s workshop, where he trained for two years to learn the art of drawing and the alabaster technique. In 1535-1536 he worked in Valencia and, once back in Burgos, his hometown, he went on to help in his father’s workshop until he moved to Toledo in 1537, where he married one of the daughters of Alonso de Covarrubias, the Master Architect of the Cathedral. He worked with Covarrubias on the Alcázar of Toledo (as well as with Francisco de Villalpando, Gaspar de Vega and Enrique Egas Jr.) and, together with Felipe Bigarny, he was in charge, among other jobs, of half of the Cathedral’s choir stalls, since the other half had been entrusted to Alonso Berruguete.