Panel and crest of a canopy



Last quarter of the 13th c.

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Christ in Majesty sits on a throne with ogival motifs, dressed in a green tunic and red mantle lined with fur; He blesses with his right hand and holds an orb with his left. Inside the mandorla with a starry blue background there is also a sun and a moon with human faces, and outside, in the spandrels, the Tetramorph. The painting is executed in tempera, with a complement of formerly gilded plaster pastiglia with colradura for the mandorla, the halos and the clasp of Jesus' mantle. The crest shows the Virgin and Child between six medallions framed by foliage, all crowned with gilt-edged crests enlivened with stucco and gilded quatrefoils. The set had been attributed to workshops in La Seu d'Urgell, but recent research has established that it comes from an unidentified church in the Aran Valley, which until 1805 belonged to the French diocese of Comenge. It was part of the Pascó collection in Barcelona; in 1909, the antiquarian Joan Cuyàs sold it to the MEV. This is an example of a kind of altar canopy only preserved in Catalonia. It consisted of a flat panel hanging above the altar on beams anchored to the apse walls. A few more examples are preserved among Catalan museums and churches; the oldest is the so-called Ribes canopy, also in the MEV. It was assumed that the canopy panels were in a slightly inclined position, until in 2008 the technical examination of the Tost ensemble (panel in the MNAC, beam and crest in the MEV) demonstrated their completely flat position. All the known examples represent Christ in Majesty: the canopies served as a window to a supernatural reality, in order to offer the viewer a glimpse of Heaven through the celebration of the Liturgy.

Marc Sureda Jubany

Llegir més


Room5 ,Floor0

4 Romanesque Art

5-6-7-8 Gothic Art

Detalls de l’obra


Val d'Aran or bishopric of Comminges


Last quarter of the 13th c.


Tempera on wood


185 x 178 cm (panel)


Provenance from an unknown church in Val d’Aran


MEV 4120-4121