Ceiling seal with a dragon



14th-15th centuries

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Tablet with a red background sprinkled with small white notes. Practically all the space is occupied by a winged dragon of greenish hues, with a ferocious attitude, contorted head and twisted tail. The ears and tail protrude slightly from the background, towards the unpainted margins intended for fitting in the ceiling structure, probably indicating the painter's instinct when finishing the animal's forms. The piece presents clear limitations in the drawing, despite a certain volumetric intention manifested through a series of very linear brushstrokes. The dragon is one of the most emblematic medieval beasts and during the Middle Ages it takes on the popularly known monstrous form; before it was represented rather as a huge snake, a beast that in fact shares its evil nature. In medieval bestiaries it is explained that the dragon's strength is not in its teeth but in its tail, which it uses to suffocate its victims, a sign of the diabolical lie. This kind of animalistic representations, which often hybridize reality with the imaginary, are frequently found in the painted wooden ceilings in southern France and Catalonia, sometimes as simply decorative motifs, in certain contexts with symbolic values similar to the one expressed. Not knowing its origin, any speculation in this sense is risky; we only know that the object entered the MEV in 1919.

Judit Verdaguer Serrat, Marc Sureda Jubany

Llegir més


Room22 ,Floor2

18 Leather

19 Gold, Silver and Metalworking Arts

20 Forge Work

21 Ceramics

22 Study Galleries

Detalls de l’obra




14th-15th centuries


Tempera painting on wood


22.3 x 36 cm


Provenance unknown


MEV 5997