Saint Bartholomey destroying the pagan idol

Joan Gascó1525 - 1526

Mev, Museu d'Art Medieval

Mev, Museu d'Art Medieval
Vic, Spain

The scene shows one of the most famous miracles attributed to saint Bartholomew in India: the saint, raising an arm, makes a diabolic spirit come out of the golden idol in where it lived, breaking it in pieces. This provokes the conversion of king Polemius, impressed by the miracle.
The Vic tanners union had its altar in the chapel dedicated to saint Bartholomew at the Pilgrims' Hospital in Vic, once located near the Queralt bridge, and adorned it with an altarpiece composed by a predella contracted by Ferran Camargo in 1491, a central panel and dustguards commissioned to Joan Gascó in 1513 and eight side scenes contracted also to him in 1525. This panel about saint Bartholomew miracle, is one of these last works and is the only remaining element of the altarpiece. The chapel disappeared in 1838 and the panel was in the MEV in 1891, but it was retired after the Spanish Civil War and ended in private collections. The 'Cercle del MEV' purchased it for the Museum in 2009.
This table is a good exemple of the working system of the Gascó workshop during the artistical convivence of Joan and Perot, father and son. In the elementary construction of the space, composed of juxtaposed groups (the saint and soldiers, the niche with the statue and the king and counselors), the procedures of the father's painting are revelled; and, at once, some features such as the stylisation of figures and faces, common in works of this period as in the Calvary of Pruit, foreshadow the style of pieces painted after 1529, attributed to Perot as the workshop's head, e.g. the altarpiece of Sant Vicenç de Borgonyà.


  • Title: Saint Bartholomey destroying the pagan idol
  • Creator: Joan Gascó and Perot Gascó
  • Date Created: 1525 - 1526
  • Location Created: Vic, Catalonia
  • Physical Dimensions: w99.7 x h127.8 x d6.5 cm (Complete)
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: © Museu Episcopal de Vic, photographer: Carles Aymerich
  • External Link: Museu Episcopal de Vic
  • Medium: Tempera and oils on wood
  • Style Source: Museu Episcopal de Vic
  • Style: Renaissance
  • Provenance Source: Museu Episcopal de Vic
  • Provenance: From the ancient Pilgrims' Hospital in Vic (Osona)
  • Place Part Of: Spain
  • Medium Source: Museu Episcopal de Vic
  • Description Source: Museu Episcopal de Vic
  • Description Extent: Complete

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