27
27

THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN

Associate of Ferrer and Arnau Bassa, circa 1346–48
LATERAL WING FROM AN ALTARPIECE WITH EPISODES FROM THE LIFE OF SAINT PETER
JUMP TO LOT
27

THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN

Associate of Ferrer and Arnau Bassa, circa 1346–48
LATERAL WING FROM AN ALTARPIECE WITH EPISODES FROM THE LIFE OF SAINT PETER
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Masters Evening Sale

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Associate of Ferrer and Arnau Bassa, circa 1346–48
LATERAL WING FROM AN ALTARPIECE WITH EPISODES FROM THE LIFE OF SAINT PETER

Provenance

Acquired by the father of the present owner;

Thence by inheritance.

Literature

J. Gudiol and S. Alcolea I Blanch, Pintura Gótica Catalana, Barcelona 1986, p. 52, nos 115 and 116, reproduced figs 237 and 238 (as Maestro de Sixena).

Catalogue Note

This two-sectioned panel has been dated by Prof. Antoni José Pitarch to the period 1346–48 which puts it at the very dawn of the Modern age of painting in Spain; the comparable moment in north-eastern Spain, though some fifty years later, to the transition from the Romanesque to the ‘Early Renaissance’ in Italy brought about by Cimabue, Duccio and Giotto. An exceptionally rare example of mid-fourteenth century Catalan painting, it was presumably once part of an altarpiece dedicated to Saint Peter.

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.

Old Masters Evening Sale

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