Altarpiece dedicated to ...
Room 11


Joan de Rua

Altarpiece dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel

Tempera on wood
296.5 x 190.5 cm
From the church of Sant Miquel in Verdú (Urgell)
MEV 1768-1771

Joan de Rua was a painter from Montblanc, active during the end of 15th century in the area between the bishoprics of Tarragona, Lleida, Vic and Barcelona. His most important preserved work is the altarpiece from Sant Miquel de Cervera, the contract of which, discovered in 2015 by Xavier Pont, allows the identification of Joan de Rua with the so-called «Master of Cervera», an anonymous artistical personality created by Gudiol Ricard and Alcolea. The contract of St Michael's altarpiece, established between the painter and the Town of Verdú on 15th September 1483, regulates that the altarpiece must be finished by February of the following year. This is a painter influenced by the Flemish style introduced to Valencia by Jaume Baçó (Jacomart) and then developed by Joan Reixach, without however attaining the artistic quality of these masters. This Valencian influence can be seen in the decorative and dramatic feel that dominates the entire altarpiece, where the landscapes in the backgrounds of the scenes still coexist with the gilt backgrounds present on the predella and the central panel. This central panel with the Archangel defeating the devil is composed with a great artistic mastery of rhythm and proportion. The figure of the Archangel, whose face is endowed with a serene angelic beauty recalling the very beautiful faces of the archangels painted by Jaume Huguet, is contrasted with the beastly figure of Lucifer. By this same painter, the Museum conserves the fragment from a predella and a central panel from an altarpiece dedicated to Saint Emerentiana of unknown provenance, presently exhibited in the study galleries.

Room 11
Floor 1
9-10-11 Gothic Art
12-13-14 Renaissance
15-16 Textiles and Clothing
17 Glass