Virgin and Child with Musician Angels. The Master of Belmonte and Late Gothic Aragonese Painting
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The masterpiece I present in this publication, Virgin and Child with Musician Angels, by the Master of Belmonte, is a real find in Aragonese Gothic painting from the second half of the fifteenth century. It is painted on panel and in an excellent state of preservation. It incredibly maintains its entire original polychromy, its gildings and silver leaves, so that time does not seem to have made any impact at all, but rather the opposite. It has kept its freshness and colorfulness as if the artist had painted it only recently. The scene represents the Virgin with the Child, the latter holding in his hand a small bird with a string, which will soar up to the sky once it is freed. Mother and Child, in turn, are flanked by exquisite angels playing the most varied instruments so naturally that we seem to be able to hear the melodies of praise they play. The magnificence and richness of the composition compete with the peace and harmonious balance the gifted artist managed to display in such a masterly manner. I would like to thank the enormous research work done by scholar Alberto Velasco Gonzàlez, an undisputed expert on Spanish Gothic painting, who was consequently capable of attributing this outstanding piece beyond the shadow of a doubt to the Master of Belmonte. He definitely justifies this undeniable attribution based on his extensive knowledge, supported by accurate research. The reader will be able to enjoy the result of this research, which significantly contributes to disclosing one facet of fifteenth-century Spanish art.