Saint Martin and the Beggar. A Masterpiece by Jaume and Pere Serra
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The work I am presenting in this publication, Saint Martin and the Beggar, is an impres - sive compartment from a Gothic altarpiece painted in Barcelona in the second half of the 14th century. It is an extraordinary painting on a number of levels. Firstly, because it is the work of Jaume and Pere Serra, two of the most prominent painters in Catalan Gothic art. Secondly, because it stands as a unique and previously unseen work in traditional his - toriography. And finally, it is of particular note due to the great visual impact it creates when looked upon, due to the forcefulness and elegance of its figures, the plasticity of the subject depicted and the striking effect of the decorative devices used. The work is also exceptional on account of some of the pictorial processes that Jaume and Pere used in its execution, as highlighted by Rafael Romero and Adelina Illán’s magnificent technical study, which concludes this book in the form of an appendix. This is the first piece of research of its kind into the painting of the Serra brothers, and one of its achievements is to have successfully demonstrated that the completion of the work involved the use of mosaic gold, a material that was by no means common in the painting of altarpieces during the His - panic Gothic period. The book you have before you is, without doubt, the foremost publication to date on the Serra brothers, who ran the most important altarpiece workshop in the Crown of Aragon during the second half of the 14th century. And it is as such that I would like to offer my congratulations to Dr. Alberto Velasco Gonzàlez, who apart from carrying out an extremely detailed study from multiple points of view, including the work’s attribution and a stylistic and iconographic anal - ysis, has also taken the opportunity to present a new vision of the artistic output of the Serra brothers, putting forward new suggestions that constitute a major contribution to the history of Medieval Hispanic painting.
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