Altar frontal from Sant Sadurní in Rotgers

Vic workshopsFirst quarter of the 13th century

Mev, Museu d'Art Medieval

Mev, Museu d'Art Medieval
Vic, Spain

At the end of the 12th century a new stylistic current of Byzantine origin – in the 'maniera greca' – was introduced to Catalonia that was to last until the middle of the 13th century. The frontal from Sant Sadurní in Rotgers, along with the altar frontal from Avià, with which it has many stylistic parallels, and the altar frontal from Baltarga (both kept in the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya), is one of the most
paradigmatic examples in all Catalonia of this new formal current characterised by the smoothness of the modelling of the faces and the volumes of the figures. This new style was introduced to this country thanks to Catalonia's trading and cultural links with the Byzantine Empire, and reached here principally via Sicily and Venice. In the centre of the frontal is the figure of Christ Pantocrator surrounded by the symbols of the Tetramorph, of which only the angel of Saint Matthew and the eagle of Saint John have survived. The side compartments are devoted to the depiction of the scenes from the life of Saint Saturninus, bishop and martyr of the city of Toulouse. The cult of Saint Saturninus, founder of the church in Toulouse, spread particularly in this period by way of the pilgrimage roads and the book of the Golden Legend. The scenes depicted are: the saint refuses to adore the idol in the form of a bullock, the saint tied to a bullock is dragged down the steps of the Capitol of the city of Toulouse and the saint blesses a group of people who appear on the waters, saved miraculously from drowning.


  • Title: Altar frontal from Sant Sadurní in Rotgers
  • Creator: Vic workshops
  • Date Created: First quarter of the 13th century
  • Location Created: Vic, Catalonia
  • Physical Dimensions: w132.5 x h89.6 x d3.5 cm (Complete)
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: © Museu Episcopal de Vic, photographer: Gabriel Salvans
  • External Link: Museu Episcopal de Vic
  • Medium: Tempera on poplar wood
  • Style Source: Museu Episcopal de Vic
  • Style: Romanesque
  • Provenance Source: Museu Episcopal de Vic
  • Provenance: From the church of Sant Sadurní in Rotgers, Borredà (Berguedà)
  • Place Part Of: Spain
  • Medium Source: Museu Episcopal de Vic
  • Description Source: Museu Episcopal de Vic
  • Description Extent: Complete

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