Altarpiece from Verdú
Room 10


Jaume Ferrer II

Altarpiece from Verdú

Lleida school
1432 - 1434
Tempera on wood
159 x 93 cm (12 panels)
From the high altarpiece of the parish church of Santa Maria in Verdú (Urgell)
MEV 1772-1783

From 1432 and 1434 there are two documents conserved that refer to donations given for the making of the high altarpiece in the church of Santa Maria in Verdú. The Museum conserves twelve panels from this large altarpiece that have been exhibited in a monographic gallery following the chronological order of the holy story, as it is difficult to be able to establish with any certainty their hypothetical original architectural composition. Jaume Ferrer II was a painter from Lleida active during the period of the second phase of International Gothic and trained possibly in the painting workshop that his father – Jaume Ferrer I – must have had in the city of Lleida. His best-known work is the altarpiece in the chapel of the Paeria in Lleida, conserved in situ, done in about 1450, a late stage of his artistic career. On the other hand, the Verdú altarpiece is a work from his youth in which we can already observe the characteristic traits of the new period, especially as regards the detail with which the exterior landscapes in the backgrounds of the panels are described, and the meticulousness and richness of the interior scenes. These innovations from the second phase of International Gothic, introduced in the 1430s to Barcelona by Bernat Martorell, can be appreciated in the scene of the Annunciation where Jaume Ferrer paints the objects in the Virgin's scriptorium seeking the effect of depth given by the light casting their shadows behind. The exquisite way that he paints the clothing of the Magi in the scene of the Epiphany is far removed from the sobriety of the Italianate Gothic world of Siena in the 'trecento' and brings it closer to the Flemish world's liking for detail, as well as to the luxurious fashion prevailing in Florence and the European courts of the time.

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

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