Morales was a Spanish religious painter born in the province of Badajoz in Extremadura. Most of his work was of religious subjects, primarily the topics of the Christ’s infancy and the Passion, The Virgin Mary and infant Saint John can also be widely seen in is paintings. Influenced by Renaissance masters, such as Raphael (1483 – 1520) and Leonardo’s period of work in Lombardy, he was called by his contemporaries, "The Divine Morales", or “El Divino” because of his skill of shocking realism in his paintings, and because of the spirituality transmitted by all his work.
He was active most of this career in Badajoz and he developed a highly individual style, merging Spanish, Italian, Flemish and Portuguese styles. Additional to the strong influence of the Italian masters, he also showed a fine appreciation for Netherlandish art. He may have trained in Seville, a religious and artistic center of southern Spain, with the Flemish Mannerist painter, Peeter de Kempeneer, who became known in Spain as Pedro de Campaña. All of these factors made Morales a painter who transcended the borders of Renaissance style.
His work now in the Uffizi Gallery, Christ Carrying the Cross, is similar to another of his works that owe inspiration to Sebastiano del Piombo (1485 – 1547), an Italian Mannerist.
(Some of this text is taken from the www.wikipedia.org entry on Luis de Morales, available under GNU Free Documentation license.)
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