The apostles James and Thomas

Golden, polychromatic limestone
Lleida, around 1370-1380
34 x 53 cm
Museu de Lleida Diocesà i Comarcal

These two reliefs which represent the apostles Saint James and Saint Thomas belong to the predella from an altarpiece which had the complete apostolate, from which another unidentified figure is known to be in the Museu Marès of Barcelona. The apostolate was ordered from left to right following the twelve articles from the Creed that each of the apostles had on the phylacteries held in their hands. Therefore, thanks to the texts that have partly been able to read, Saint James and Thomas have been identified. Both the way of presenting the figures below arches and the anatomical characteristics, long hair with ringlets as well as long, curly beards show their origin, the workshop of Master Bartomeu de Robió, placed in Lleida between 1361 and 1368 and creator, among others, of Saint Peter’s altarpiece (Lleida, church of Sant Llorenç) which gives the same models or solutions as the ones from these two apostles, above all in the transfiguration scene, in which Moses and Elijah follow the same pattern and are given the same descriptive and technical treatment as James and Thomas. That is the reason why these two reliefs belong to the master’s most classic production which includes, apart from his participation in the high altarpiece of Lleida’s Cathedral, the altarpiece, among others, of Saint Peter of the church of Corbins (Lleida), which represents a classic example of Lleida’s sculpture from the 1370 decade.