Spanish sculptor. He is first recorded assisting Giralte de Bruselas (fl 1511–23) on the retable of the high altar of Oviedo Cathedral from 1516 to 1518 and is documented as carving one of the reliefs, the Incredulity of Thomas. In 1519 Balmaseda completed a Calvary group to surmount Felipe Vigarny’s retable in Palencia Cathedral. Late Gothic in style, the expressionistic figures are fine examples of the anti-classical tradition that continued late into the 16th century in Spanish sculpture. The angular folds of drapery and twisted locks of hair are characteristic of Balmaseda’s work. Connected to this group stylistically are a Crucifixion group completed for León Cathedral and a pair of figures of the Mater dolorosa and St John (Madrid, Mus. Lázaro Galdiano), for all of which no dates are known. In 1520 Balmaseda was in Burgos, where he was influenced by the work of Diego de Siloe, and where wooden reliefs on the doors of the Hospital del Rey have been attributed to him. Between about 1524 and 1527 he was resident in León, but he also worked on a retable at Villamediana, Palencia, in about 1525. Around 1530 he collaborated on a retable for the chapel of S Ildefonso in Palencia Cathedral. He remained active in and around Palencia, but his personal contribution is not always easy to distinguish from that of his workshop.
- J. Camón Aznar: ‘Juan de Balmaseda’, Goya, vol.12 (1956), pp. 358–68
- J. M. Azcarate: Escultura del siglo XVI, A. Hisp., vol.13 (Madrid, 1958), pp. 80–85
- J. M. Parrado de Olmo: Los escultores seguidores de Berruguete en Palencia (Valladolid, 1981)
- F. Checa: Pintura y escultura del renacimiento en España, 1450–1600 (Madrid, 1983)
- J. Parrado del Olmo: ‘A propósito del Camino de Santiago palentino: En torno a varias obras de escultura del siglo XVI’, Boletín del Seminario de estudios de arte y arqueología [Universidad de Valladolid], vol.61 (1995), pp. 315–32