The Art Museum of Girona acquires a fragment of the Sant Feliu altarpiece with the support of the Friends of the Art Museum

The purchase was made through the Friends of the Art Museum, who donated to the museum

The Art Museum of Girona acquires a fragment of the Sant Feliu altarpiece with the support of the Friends of the Art Museum
bonart girona - 27/04/24

This week, the Girona Art Museum received the donation of a piece that belonged to the old main altarpiece of Sant Feliu de Girona, specifically a fragment of the side that framed it. The Art Museum exhibits and preserves a large part of the altarpiece as a whole, while another part is in the Basilica of Sant Feliu. The Friends of the Art Museum , who occasionally support the museum with acquisitions for its fund, made the purchase and yesterday the donation was received and made effective at the museum.

The piece, a fragment of about 123 cm high and about 90 cm wide, is the work of the sculptor Pere Robredo, originally from Burgas, who settled in Girona between 1507 and 1512. Robredo made the decoration carving of the entire high body of the altarpiece, including the dust guards, as well as the secondary figures that adorn the uprights. His work is the result of workshop work, characterized by the introduction of details, ornaments and elements typical of the Castilian plateresque renaissance.

The fragment in question was part of one of the sides, called dust guards or bracelets, which surround the altarpiece as a frame. The dust guards on the sides were dedicated to the iconography of the tree of Jesse, the representation of the genealogy of Jesus Christ from Jesse, father of King David. A subject that served to strengthen the link between the Old and the New Testament. This fragment, with a crowned figure holding a mace, would correspond to one of these kings of the dynasty, without being able to identify which one.

The main altarpiece of the church of Sant Feliu in Girona was a large and complex work executed over the course of sixteen years, from 1504 to 1520. Today it is one of the best preserved examples of the transition from the Gothic style to the new Renaissance models in Catalonia. In its execution, over the course of sixteen years, different artisans worked: Joan Dartrica (1504) did the wood work and the decorative carving or tracery; the imagery was entrusted to Joan of Aragon (1505), Pere Coll and Pedro Robredo (1507); and the gilding and painting were done by Pere de Fontaines (1515) and Joan de Burgunya (1518), who finished the work in 1520. The altarpiece became a grandiose set of nearly 15 meters high and 11 meters in width, and one of the most expensive at the time, paid for in large part, thanks to bequests.

This new piece completes the set of the altarpiece which in 1936, at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, was taken down from Sant Feliu and stored in the cathedral of Girona. In 1943, a new altarpiece was rebuilt for the church of Sant Feliu, using parts of the old one. The other parts are preserved in the Art Museum, displayed in a room dedicated to the altarpiece


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