The Apostle St James the Less

Oil on panel
Second half of the 15th century
116 x 49 cm
Private collection, Barcelona

Diego de la Cruz was one of the few artists of renowned name among the representatives of the Hispanic-Flemish painting of Burgos. Although he was neighbour of this city, he is supposed to have a Flemish origin due to the knowledge of Nordic painting that is perceived in his works, especially due to the influence of Rogier van der Weyden. In the painting of altarpieces he achieved maximum plausibility in every image and detail, through colour and the use of various plastic procedures, achieving an effect of sculpture-painting of rich effects. When his name was known, he was considered a sculptor when he collaborated with Gil de Siloé in the painting and gilding of some of his carved altarpieces.

James the Less is known for his arduous evangelising work. He was a man ready for the battle of faith and the expansion of Christ’s message. He was recognised as the first bishop of Jerusalem. He wrote the epistles that bear his name and appear in the New Testament.