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Altarpiece dedicated to ...
Room 7



Gothic

Master of the Anaemic Figures

Altarpiece dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours

Catalonia
First half of the 15th century
Tempera on wood
372 x 274 cm
From the parish church of Sant Martí Sescorts, L'Esquirol (Osona)
MEV 1009-1013

This quite unusual name of ‘Master of the Anaemic Figures' was coined by the art historian Chandler Post “due to his bloodless figures, so bereft of tactile values…”, as seen in the faces of the figures depicted on the altarpieces we have conserved by this painter. This altarpiece from Sant Martí Sescorts was one of the first to be admitted as part of the Museum's collection at the end of the 19th century. It came from the collection of Santiago Rusiñol, who later became such good friends with 'Mossèn' Gudiol, especially due to their mutual liking for collecting Catalan wrought-ironwork. The work of this anonymous artist is contemporaneous with that of Lluís Borrassà, by whom he was influenced. It is characterised by the use of popularly rooted stylistic formulae that are easy to spot due to the recurrent use of the black line when outlining the volumes of the figures more easily. The altarpiece is dedicated to Saint Martin, patron saint of this church in the municipality of L'Esquirol, and on it are depicted scenes of his life and martyrdom, outstanding among them the episode of the feast of the soldiers of the city of Poitiers, which had been organised by the inhabitants of the city of Tours in order to recover the dead body of their holy bishop. The other well-known work by this master is the altarpiece of Saint Ursula from the church of Sant Miquel in Cardona, of which the Museum conserves one of the compartments, currently exhibited next to the altarpiece of Saint Martin. Due to the provenance of the works conserved, in the main from Osona and El Bages, we have to suppose that this painter had his workshop in a city somewhere in central Catalonia.


Room 7
Floor 0
4 Romanesque Art
5-6-7-8 Gothic Art