SCHOOL OF TARRAGONA

St John the Evangelist and Calvary

Tempera on panel
147 x 60,5 cm.
Tarragona.
Saint John, ca. 1430
Calvary, ca. 1440

 

Central part of an altarpiece devoted to Saint John the Evangelist from which the side panels are unknown.

The lower part shows the figure of Saint John holding the chalice with his left hands whereas on his right hand brings martyrdom’s palm. He wears a white shirt under his blue robe and his crimson coat. According to the traditional iconography, the Saint has blond and curly hair combined with being beardless and his blue eyes.

The floor’s composition represents heraldic motives from guilds or brotherhoods.

The altarpiece ends up in an ogee arch, with leaves and rosettes decoration in gold relief.

In this art piece there is a distinction on the treatment and inspiration of the central part compared to the Calvary. The first one results from 1430 whereas the other one follows a 1440 scheme with the inclusion of a Flemish background.

The two models combination is difficult to find in Catalan paintings except from Tarragona school. Therefore the closeness regarding the physiognomy to Ramón de Mur style is not rare, such as a prominent chin or a small mouth. Additionally, there is a tendency in establishing marked and reinforced perspectives.