Martín Bernat was a Spanish Gothic painter, active in Zaragoza from 1450. He is known to have collaborated extensively with Bartolomé Bermejo, whose altarpiece for Santo Dimingo de Silos, Bernat promised to finish.
Between 1479-1484, the pair continued to work alongside one another on the restoration of the polychrome altarpiece of the Catedral del Salvador and the painting of the John de Lobera Altarpiece for the chapel of the Visitation of the Pillar of Zaragova (now residing in a private collection).
Bermejo and Bernat's relationship left a permanent and significant impact on the latter's career. For several religious establishments, Bernat and his circle often emulated Bermejo's saint typology in their works, leaving a relatively deep-rooted imprint on late fifteenth-century Aragonese painting.
In 1485, Bernat was hired, alongside Miguel Ximénez, to decorate the high altar of the Church of Blesa in the province of Teruel, dedicated to the Legend of the Holy Cross. Again, Bermejo’s perpetual influence on Bernat is visible in his depiction of a series of prophets and those destined for the Passion of Christ. Four years later, Bernat travelled to Barcelona to execute his now-lost Altarpiece of All Saints for the Augustinians of Zaragoza.
Throughout his career, Bernat maintained an excellent reputation, painting numerous altarpieces in the Aragonese area, whilst also installing and operating a fruitful workshop. Today, unfortunately, many of Bernat’s works remain lost, but his legacy endures in those which survive, as testaments to his artistic achievements.
Bernat died in c.1505.
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