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Altarpiece Fragment with Saints, Spanish School, 16th Century



Predela with santas. Oil on board, carved wood. Spanish school, 16th century. The ladies, clearly holy both by the nimbos (with their respective names in Gothic letters) and by their rich clothes, are identified both by the attributes already mentioned and by the legend of their nimbus. Starting from the left, Santa Elena (mother of Emperor Constantine I) appears crowned, holding Vera Cruz (relic she found in the Holy Land) and dressed in white touches and dark cloak and dress (in the manner of women of a certain age); He accompanies her on the Santa Bárbara de Nicomedia table with a tower crowned by a Latin cross in his hands (the martyr was locked in a tower; the building usually has three windows alluding to the Trinity, and may or may not wear a crown). Saint Catherine of Alexandria appears to us holding a sword in her right hand and with a cogwheel resting on the left side of her body (Emperor Maxentius sentenced Catherine to torture by means of a machine formed by wheels with blades, which were broken at touch the body of the saint, dying decapitated); She is accompanied by Saint Agatha of Catania (condemned to torture and having her breasts cut by the proconsul of Sicily, Quintianus). In the last table of the set appear the one that could be Saint Apollonia of Alexandria (martyr who died in this city in the middle of the third century AD, they broke her teeth and burned her; therefore, she appears with pincers and a tooth ) with Saint Lucia of Syracuse (martyr from the end of the III-beginning of the IV century who died well beheaded well by sword strikes; patron of sight, she is associated with the eyes since the Middle Ages and perhaps because of the proximity of her name with the Latin term "lux" -light-, although there is also the legend that says that Lucia's eyes did not let one of her suitors sleep, so she ripped them off and sent them to her, and the one in which she he places her in court without eyes, but he kept seeing). The background of the tables appears golden, decorated with a composition of geometric elements and plant motifs (mainly, flowers), combining Gothic airs with Mudejar influences. In Spain, this type of decoration is relatively common in some areas and schools: compare, for example, with the background of some tables of the main altarpiece of Santa María de Arbás de Mayorga de Campos in Valladolid (linked to the Master of Palanquinos, 1498 ), or a Piety in Private Collection (related to the same teacher; note also the certain resemblance in some faces and that the nimbus appear with names). The name in the nimbus is presented, for example, in the table of St. John the Baptist and the prophet Balaam (Private Collection) that has been linked to this same teacher and has been dated to 1490; In addition, a golden background decorated with a certain Mudejar air is presented. The Master of Palanquinos (whom some experts identify with Pedro de Mayorga) was an active painter in the area of León between 1470 and 1500. It is also worth remembering the Master of Portillo (active in the first third of the sixteenth century in Valladolid) and works of his hand like the tables of the Visitation and the Evangelists San Mateo and San Marcos (Diocesan Museum and Cathedral of Valladolid), the table of the Burial of Christ of the Museum of San Isidro of Madrid, the Altarpiece of the Church-Museum from San Antolín de Tordesillas (Valladolid), etc. The altarpiece of Santa Eulalia de Mérida of the parish of Tañabueyes de la Sierra (anonymous, 1523) presents a predella with saints. Size: 193 x 14 x 87 cms.


  • Dimensions
    Height: 34.26 in. (87 cm)Width: 75.99 in. (193 cm)Depth: 5.52 in. (14 cm)
  • Style
    Gothic (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    16th Century
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. Minor losses. Minor structural damages. Minor fading.
  • Seller Location
    Madrid, ES
  • Reference Number
    Seller: ZF04431stDibs: LU2951316073372

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Estimated Customs Duties & Taxes to the Continental US: $0.
    Ships From: Madrid, Spain
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

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About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Madrid, Spain
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Established in 1985
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