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Pedro Campaña

1503 - 1580

Born into a prominent Brussels family of painters and tapestry designers, Peter de Kempeneer, as he was originally named, became one of the leading religious painters of Seville in the mid-16th century.

Renowned as a painter, sculptor and tapestry designer, he is also known to have worked as an architect, astrologer and engineer. He is thought to have trained as a tapestry designer in his home town of Brussels under Bernaert van Orley before leaving for Italy, where he is first documented in 1529. There, Campaña worked for a decade decorating a triumphal arch in Bologna for the coronation of Charles V as Holy Roman Emperor in 1530. For 10 years he worked in Bologna and was inspired by the work of Raphael, Parmigianino and Girolamo da Treviso. From 1537 to 1563 he worked in Seville, creating altarpieces for local churches and cathedrals. His work dating from this period represents some of the finest of his career. His understanding of Italian tradition, combined with a Netherlandish realism and his passion for Spanish culture, was demonstrated in his paintings and reflected his many influences.

He is known to have spent the latter years of his life back in Brussels, where he was appointed to design tapestry cartoons, until his death in 1580.