THE MASTER OF OBISPO GALIANA

Calvary

Tempera on panel
Around 1390
248 X 126 cm
Private collection, Barcelona

Main panel of an altarpiece probably devoted to Saint Cross, from which the other scenes are not known and must have been similar to the one of the Holy Ghost of Santa María of Manresa carried out by Pere Serra in 1394. This typology was cultivated in Palma during the last two decades of the 14th century and the first of the 15th by anonymous masters and by Francesc Comas and in the same way all the carvings of the stanchions with ledges, circles, lobe-like triangles and the division with figures finished in a pointed lobe way.

The composition, with a great variety of characters, focuses on the figure of the Crucified, whose anatomy follows the patterns of the altarpiece painted by Ramon Destorrents for la Almudaina de Palma (Palma, Museu de Mallorca). It also focuses on the Marie’s group, whose physiognomies (like the one of the Crucified and Saint John’s one) are the same as the ones painted by el Maestro del Obispo Galiana in the predella of the altarpiece of San Pablo (Palma, Palacio Episcopal). Finally, on the two noblemen, from whom the one wearing the cap could be identified as Longino. The representation of the rocky ground and little plants also refer to the altarpiece by obispo Galiana.

Over the base of the altarpiece of San Pablo, the present scene, by means of a contrasted, bright, intense colour as well as some “trendy” clothes such as the cap and the left-hand side nobleman’s vestment, is placed at a chronology around 1390 where some guides from the international painting appear.