The painter of this altar frontal is the same person who at the end of the twelfth century did the mural paintings in an apsidiole dedicated to Saint Thomas à Becket in the church of Santa Maria in Ègara (Terrassa). This case is one of the most significant for showing how on many occasions the painters of the murals and the altar frontals were the same workshops. From a stylistic point of view this frontal is linked to the paintings of this period in the French region of Poitou. A new nave and apse were built in 1187 in the church of Sant Vicenç in Espinelves, the moment when we ought to suppose this altar frontal, dedicated to the Virgin, was installed. The frontal is centred upon the figure of the Virgin and the Child inside a vesica piscis held by the lion, symbole of the evangelist Mark, and the ox, symbol of the evangelist Luke. In the upper side compartments there are, on one side, the scene of the Adoration of the Magi – Gaspar, Balthasar and Melchior – guided by the great eight-pointed star that appears above the vesica piscis, and on the other the episode of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. In the two lower compartments there are the six prophets who predicted the coming of the Messiah, all holding a phylactery with the inscription of the name that identifies them: Isaiah, Jeremiah, David, Ezekiel, Daniel and Zachariah.
4 Romanesque Art
5-6-7-8 Gothic Art
Tempera on oak wood
87.5 x 147 x 8 cm
From the church of Sant Vicenç in Espinelves (Osona)