Altar frontal of Bellver de Cerdanya



Third quarter of the 14th century

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This painted wooden antependium is divided into five compartments, according to a common scheme in this kind of furniture: the central one, which occupies a third of the width and the entire height, and four on the sides, superimposed two by two. They are delimited vertically and horizontally with strips in which orange and turquoise colors alternate (the colors which dominate the entire piece), with different decorations. The orange perimeter bezel with foliage is framed by a dark turquoise outer ribbon, decorated with groups of three red fruits separated by lighter strokes. In the central scene, Mary with the Child sits on an orange padded bench, in front of a turquoise fabric with darker vegetal brocades supported by two angels and before a pointed and crested profile, probably suggesting the canopy of a throne. The narrative scenes are, from top to bottom and from left to right, the Annunciation, the Nativity, the visit of the Magi to Herod and the Epiphany. The iconographic cycle agrees with the title of the parish church of Santa María de Bellver de Cerdanya, where the object comes from according to the museum's documentation, and at the same time with the liturgical times of Advent and Christmas, with a strong Marian character. The style is a simplified version of Italianate Gothic matured in the Serra workshop; the relatively limited variety of pigments probably betrays limited economic means. The piece constitutes an interesting survival of the typology of the painted wooden antependium at a time when the altarpiece had already taken over in displaying the iconographic cycles associated to altars and in which the fabric frontals had begun to massively replace the pictorial ones.

Marc Sureda i Jubany

Llegir més


Room4 ,Floor0

4 Romanesque Art

5-6-7-8 Gothic Art

Detalls de l’obra


Workshops of La Seu d'Urgell (?)


Third quarter of the 14th century


Tempera painting on wood


114 x 223.5 x 15 cm


From Bellver de Cerdanya


MEV 4043