Workshop of Ferrer Bassa

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Workshop of Ferrer Bassa
(Spanish, fl. 1324–48)

Polyptych with Scenes from the Life of Christ, the Life of the Virgin, and Saints

ca. 1345–50
Tempera on panel
22 1/2 x 41 1/2 inches (570 x 1050 mm.)

Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1907

Item description: 

An excellent example of Gothic painting from Catalonia, this polyptych has been recently attributed to the workshop of Ferrer Bassa. It may have been executed by Bassa's son Arnau based on Ferrer's design. Evocative of contemporary Italian painting, the four panels of this altarpiece depict scenes from the life of the Virgin (at the top), the Passion of Christ (in the center row), and saints (at the bottom). The lunettes above depict the instruments of the Passion, the mourning Virgin, Christ as the Man of Sorrows (one of the earliest examples in Spanish painting), and the mourning Saint John.