Compartment of an altarpiece with the temptations of Saint Anthony


Lluís Borrassà or Mateu Ortoneda

First third of the 15th century

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The MEV preserves an important representation of the work of Lluís Borrassà, one of the main representatives of the first international style in Catalan Gothic painting. Francesc Ruiz Quesada has also attributed this work to Mateu Ortoneda, a painter contemporary of the former, of Aragonese origin and with a lesser amount of preserved work. Both artists, in any case, share a similar interpretation of the last Italianate Gothic, heritage of the workshop of the Serra, under the sign of the delicacy and luxury typical of the first international Gothic.

Saint Anthony the Abbot, an Egyptian hermit of the 4th century considered one of the fathers of monasticism, was a very popular saint in the medieval world. His association with a piglet that took part in one of his miracles made it easy for him to be considered the patron saint of livestock and domestic animals; in this way, his cult became very widespread in the Catalan countryside. The numerous altarpieces dedicated to him in the Late Middle Ages contributed to making known the episodes of his hagiography, with ancient roots but fixed at that time by the account of the Golden Legend. Anthony had been a rich heir who gave all his goods to the poor and retired to the desert to pray. Much of his story consists of narrating the temptations he suffered in the desert, very often represented in the form of devils of capricious shapes and colors that torment, cane and bite him. Another popular scene of this kind represents the moment when Satan, having assumed the form of a seductive maiden, tempts him to break his vow of chastity; but the claws under the skirt betray the girl's true identity, which Anthony recognizes by pointing to the hellish fire from which it comes.

Marc Sureda Jubany

Llegir més


Room7 ,Floor0

4 Romanesque Art

5-6-7-8 Gothic Art

Detalls de l’obra




First third of the 15th century


Tempera painting on wood


143 x 51 cm


Santa Margarida de Montbui (Anoia)


MEV 788