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Compartments from the al...
Room 7



Gothic

Lluís Borrassà

Compartments from the altarpiece from Sant Andreu in Gurb

Barcelona
1415 - 1418
Tempera on wood
99 x 47 cm; 109.5 x 89.5 cm
From the parish church of Sant Andreu in Gurb (Osona)
MEV 4526, 4525

Lluís Borrassà, the second son of the painter Guillem Borrassà, was part of a family of painters from Girona which worked in this country from the mid-14th century until the mid-15th century. There is documentary evidence that in 1383 Lluís Borrassà's painting workshop was open in the city of Barcelona, soon to become one of the largest workshops in the city, where numerous artists, helpers and collaborators worked. His arrival in Barcelona coincided with the moment when the Italianate Gothic style, prevalent in this country throughout the second half of the 14th century, whose chief disseminator had been the Serra brothers' workshop, was exhausted and going into decline. The new International Gothic art that in those years was beginning to be produced in Flanders, Paris or Milan was characterised by leaving behind the balance and the sober harmony of the shapes and the colours, made fashionable by the artists from Siena of the 'trecento', in order to introduce a new naturalistic aesthetic based on the dynamism and the movement of the figures and the use of very bright and contrasting coloured pigments. The Episcopal Museum conserves possibly the most representative collection of work by Lluís Borrassà, through which we can follow the introduction and development of this new artistic current in his work. The five compartments of the altarpiece from the church of Sant Andreu in Gurb were admitted to the Museum by 'Mossèn' Gudiol in 1914, directly from the church itself, where they were being used as a “banal wooden element on the table of the high altar”. He attributed them stylistically to Lluís Borrassà and shortly afterwards Madurell corroborated this hypothesis when he published the receipt in which it states that the painter Lluís Borrassà had received 320 gold florins from several prominent citizens of Gurb as total payment for the altarpiece of the church's high altar. Rafel Ginebra has published the document of the contract for this altarpiece between the administrators of the parish of Gurb and Lluís Borrassà, dated July 15th 1415, which has shown us the monumental composition of this altarpiece measuring over six metres wide. The scene of the crucifixion of Saint Andrew with the figure of the wife of the proconsul Egees at the foot of the cross, dressed in the Burgundian fashion of the day with a very luxurious brocaded cloak (greatcoat), is paradigmatic of this early International Gothic style, so rich in movement and colour.


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