THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
Thence by inheritance.
The panel was previously considered, and published as, the work of the Master of Sixena, an artist so-named after the altarpiece painted in (and inscribed with the name of) the town of Sixena, now at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona. The artist of the altarpiece is today generally thought to be Pedro Serra and to have been painted between 1363 (when its patron, Fra Fontaner de Glera, became prior of the church there) and 1375.1 Having assessed the present work from photographs, Prof. Pitarch however sees a close affinity with the work of Ferrer and Arnau Bassa, precursors of the Serra family and their teacher Ramon Destorrents. It is closely comparable to Arnau’s altarpiece of Saint James the Greater (documented 1347) in the Convento de Jonqueres, and the Saint Mark altarpiece in the Collegiata of Manresa (documented 1346), particularly to the central panel depicting Saint Mark’s blessing.2
Alongside the influence of French Gothic art, the painting bears the ever-present influence of Sienese art on Catalan painting of this period. The settings, for example, recall those of the Lorenzetti brothers, particularly their narrative scenes, such as Ambrogio’s Saint Nicholas brings a child back to life (Florence, Uffizi), as do many of the decorative motifs. Such a setting can also be seen in Arnau’s so-called Cardona altarpiece.3
1. See Gudiol 1986, p. 224, fig. 18.
2. Gudiol 1986, p. 299, fig. 208, and p. 220, figs 12 and 13 (details); p. 298, fig. 205, and p. 221, fig. 15.
3. Gudiol 1986, p. 220, fig. 14.
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