Joan Mates (Villafranca del Panadès 1370-1431 Barcelona)
Joan Mates (Villafranca del Panadès 1370-1431 Barcelona)
Joan Mates (Villafranca del Panadès 1370-1431 Barcelona)
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This lot is offered without reserve. PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION (LOTS 101 AND 172)
Joan Mates (Villafranca del Panadès 1370-1431 Barcelona)

The Annunciation; and The Resurrection

Details
Joan Mates (Villafranca del Panadès 1370-1431 Barcelona)
The Annunciation; and The Resurrection
tempera on gold ground panel, shaped top, in an engaged frame
43 x 37 ¾ in. (124.5 x 96 cm.)
(2)a pair
Provenance
Periollatt collection, Paris.
with Brimo de Laroussilhe, Paris, by 1948.
with L. P. Bresset, Paris, by 1953.
Private collection, Paris.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 9 December 2004, lot 306, where acquired by the present owner.
Literature
J. Ainaud, 'Tablas inéditas de Joan Mates', Anales y Boletin de los Museos de Arte de Barcelona, 1948, p. 344, both illustrated.
C.R. Post, A History of Spanish Painting, XI, Cambridge, MA, 1953, p. 377.
J. A. Gaya Nuño, La Pintura Española fuera de España, Madrid, 1958, p. 233, nos. 1761 and 1762.
J. Gudiol and S. Alcolea I Blanch, Pintura Gótica Catalana, Barcelona, 1986, pp. 90-91 and 346, no. 224, figs. 413-14.
R. Alcoy and M. Monserrat Miret, Joan Mates, Pintor del Gòtic Internacional, Barcelona, 1998, pp. 77-8, 84, 119-20, 182-3 and 185, no. 15, illustrated.
Exhibited
Marseilles, Musée Cantini, L'Art du Moyen Age, 20 May-20 June 1952, nos. 52 and 53.
Special notice

This lot is offered without reserve.

Lot Essay

Long before the beginning of the fifteenth century, large, multi-panelled retables were common across Spain, but by the late fourteenth century, particularly in Aragon and Catalonia, the design of such altarpieces had begun to display an increasing delicacy, both in their painted scenes and in their complex architectural framing elements. Joan Mates’ work typified this increased refinement, establishing him as one of the most significant painters at work in early fifteenth century Barcelona. Characterised by their elegant, light style, these two panels are fine examples of Mates’ work, showing influences from the Franco-Flemish manuscript illuminations he would certainly have seen in the cultured urban environment in which he worked. As demonstrated by their remarkable original frames, topped by the ornate xambrana (chambrana, curved mouldings surmounted by leaves and culminating in a central leafed pinnacle), the two scenes would have originally formed the uppermost parts of a retable’s calles laterales, the side panels of an altarpiece which flanked the central iconography. The Annunciation and Resurrection would almost certainly have been either side of a Crucifixion, the standard subject for the central summit of a retable across the Iberian Peninsula. Though it cannot be determined for certain, the somewhat unusual presence of the Virgin Mary in the Resurrection (though this was more common in Catalonia and Valencia than elsewhere in Europe) may suggest that the original retable was dedicated to her. A further panel of the Adoration of the Shepherds (Private collection; Christie's, New York, 27 April 2017, lot 106) has been associated with the panels, strengthening the hypothesis of the original retable’s Marian iconography.

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