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Lot 6 - Luis Borrassà (Girona, c. 1360 - Barcelona, c. 1425)

Estimation : 7 000 € / 10 000 €

Adjugé 27 500 €


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Luis Borrassà (Girona, c. 1360 - Barcelona, c. 1425)

“Announcement to Joaquín and Ana” y " The embrace at the golden gate "

Pair of panel paintings in tempera. Circa 1415-1424.

79 x 43 cm. and 77 x 41 cm.

As Velasco notes in his study of these previously unknown panels, “We find ourselves before two compartments of a previously unknown altarpiece which we attribute to Lluís Borrassà, a painter documented as being in Catalonia between 1380 and 1424.



Velasco, in his in-depth study, links these two panels with others which have recently appeared on the market in Barcelona, as originating from the same reredos: “The backs of the panels have a marbled decoration which attests to the fact that these compartments were reused in the baroque period. This decoration does not appear on the panels that were added during the previously mentioned restoration work. The presence of this decoration, along with the fact that the panels were cut out, is a particularly significant detail for justifying their attribution to a second set of previously unknown panel paintings which we also ascribe to Lluís Borrassà and which appeared on the market in Barcelona at a recent date. These are six compartments which have been taken from a reredos which technically and stylistically are clearly related to these ones. The aforementioned panels depict the Expulsion of Joachim from the Temple (71 x 25 cm), Joachim among the shepherds (56,5 x 26 cm), the Disputation between Jesus and the Doctors of the Church (71 x 25 cm), A King of the Epiphany (71 x 25 cm), the Dormition of the Virgin Mary (71 x 25 cm), and two angel musicians, which must have connected to the painting of the Madonna and Child on the main panel of the altarpiece.” (50,5 x 16 cm).



Stylistically, Velasco explains: “the set of panels devoted to the Virgin Mary which we are studying here are very close to the paintings ascribed to Borrassà’s later period, such as the reredos of Saint Martha, Saint Dominic and Saint Peter the Martyr at the Chapel of Saint Martha of Barcelona, which was painted circa 1421-1425. In those panels we find characteristics, features and wrinkles similar to those of the characters in these panels devoted to the Virgin Mary that we are analysing.”



The embrace at the golden gate depicts the meeting between Saint Joachim and Saint Anne in front of said gate, symbolising that the Virgin Mary had conceived. This was the only way of representing the Immaculate Conception until the 16th century, when the iconography related to the Virgin Mary herself on this dogma was created.



As is customary in the art of the Middle Ages, Saint Joachim has a polygonal halo.



With regard to the state of preservation, there has been some repainting and an addition to the left zone of each compartment of two panels with a width of 9 and 10.5 cm. In the painting depicting the Announcement to Joachim and Anne, the disappearance of this left section could be the reason why the understanding of the iconography is made more difficult, as the part in which the announcing angel communicates to Joachim and Anne that they are going to become the parents of the Mother of God is missing.



Attached is a study by Dr. Alberto Velasco Gonzàlez, whom we thank for the identification and study of these works

Luis Borrassà (Girona, c. 1360 - Barcelona, c. 1425)

“Announcement to Joaquín and Ana” y " The embrace at the golden gate "

Pair of panel paintings in tempera. Circa 1415-1424.

79 x 43 cm. and 77 x 41 cm.

As Velasco notes in his study of these previously unknown panels, “We find ourselves before two compartments of a previously unknown altarpiece which we attribute to Lluís Borrassà, a painter documented as being in Catalonia between 1380 and 1424.



Velasco, in his in-depth study, links these two panels with others which have recently appeared on the market in Barcelona, as originating from the same reredos: “The backs of the panels have a marbled decoration which attests to the fact that these compartments were reused in the baroque period. This decoration does not appear on the panels that were added during the previously mentioned restoration work. The presence of this decoration, along with the fact that the panels were cut out, is a particularly significant detail for justifying their attribution to a second set of previously unknown panel paintings which we also ascribe to Lluís Borrassà and which appeared on the market in Barcelona at a recent date. These are six compartments which have been taken from a reredos which technically and stylistically are clearly related to these ones. The aforementioned panels depict the Expulsion of Joachim from the Temple (71 x 25 cm), Joachim among the shepherds (56,5 x 26 cm), the Disputation between Jesus and the Doctors of the Church (71 x 25 cm), A King of the Epiphany (71 x 25 cm), the Dormition of the Virgin Mary (71 x 25 cm), and two angel musicians, which must have connected to the painting of the Madonna and Child on the main panel of the altarpiece.” (50,5 x 16 cm).



Stylistically, Velasco explains: “the set of panels devoted to the Virgin Mary which we are studying here are very close to the paintings ascribed to Borrassà’s later period, such as the reredos of Saint Martha, Saint Dominic and Saint Peter the Martyr at the Chapel of Saint Martha of Barcelona, which was painted circa 1421-1425. In those panels we find characteristics, features and wrinkles similar to those of the characters in these panels devoted to the Virgin Mary that we are analysing.”



The embrace at the golden gate depicts the meeting between Saint Joachim and Saint Anne in front of said gate, symbolising that the Virgin Mary had conceived. This was the only way of representing the Immaculate Conception until the 16th century, when the iconography related to the Virgin Mary herself on this dogma was created.



As is customary in the art of the Middle Ages, Saint Joachim has a polygonal halo.



With regard to the state of preservation, there has been some repainting and an addition to the left zone of each compartment of two panels with a width of 9 and 10.5 cm. In the painting depicting the Announcement to Joachim and Anne, the disappearance of this left section could be the reason why the understanding of the iconography is made more difficult, as the part in which the announcing angel communicates to Joachim and Anne that they are going to become the parents of the Mother of God is missing.



Attached is a study by Dr. Alberto Velasco Gonzàlez, whom we thank for the identification and study of these works

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