Altar frontal from Sant Vicenç in Espinelves

Vic workshops1187

Mev, Museu d'Art Medieval

Mev, Museu d'Art Medieval
Vic, Spain

The painter of this altar frontal is the same person who at the end of the twelfth century did the mural paintings in an apsidiole dedicated to Saint Thomas à Becket in the church of Santa Maria in Ègara (Terrassa). This case is one of the most significant for showing how on many occasions the painters of the murals and the altar frontals were the same workshops. From a stylistic point of view this frontal is linked to the paintings of this period in the French region of Poitou. A new nave and apse were built in 1187 in the church of Sant Vicenç in Espinelves, the moment when we ought to suppose this altar frontal, dedicated to the Virgin, was installed. The frontal is centred upon the figure of the Virgin and the Child inside a vesica piscis held by two angels. In the upper side compartments there are, on one side, the scene of the Adoration of the Magi – Gaspar, Balthasar and Melchior – guided by the great eight-pointed star that appears above the vesica piscis, and on the other the episode of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. In the two lower compartments there are the six prophets who predicted the coming of the Messiah, all holding a phylactery with the inscription of the name that identifies them: Isaiah, Jeremiah, David, Ezekiel, Daniel and Zachariah.


  • Title: Altar frontal from Sant Vicenç in Espinelves
  • Creator: Vic workshops
  • Date Created: 1187
  • Location Created: Vic, Catalonia
  • Physical Dimensions: w147 x h87.5 x d8 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 Vicenç in Espinelves (Osona)
  • Place Part Of: Spain
  • Medium Source: Museu Episcopal de Vic
  • Description Source: Museu Episcopal de Vic
  • Description Extent: Complete

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