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European Art before 1900

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Altarpiece of Saint John the Baptist

Previously attributed to Luis Borrassà, Spanish, (ca. 1360–ca. 1424)
previously attributed to Aragonese Master, Spanish, b. 15th century
previously attributed to Catalan School, Spanish, b. 15th century
Workshop of Blasco de Grañén (AKA Lanaja Master), Spanish, (active 1422–1459)

Creation date: ca. 1440
Creation place: Spain

Other Information

Type: Tempera Painting
Medium and Support: Tempera on panel
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. Samuel H. Kress
Accession Number: 1932.57
State/Province: Aragon
Dimensions: 86 in. x 88 in. x 4 1/2 in. (218.44 cm x 223.52 cm x 11.43 cm)

Provenance

Walter P. Fearon Galleries, Inc. (possibly), New York, New York ( - 1932)

Samuel Henry Kress, New York, New York (1932 - June 13, 1932)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (June 13, 1932 - )

Label Copy

While most of the earlier paintings in this gallery are fragments of larger ensembles, this panel shows how narrative scenes and iconic images of saints were typically combined in an altarpiece. Saint John the Baptist is at the center, holding a lamb in one hand and gesturing with the other, a reference to his description of Christ as “the Lamb of God.” The lateral compositions include scenes from the life of the saint: the Birth of Saint John and Saint John preaching in the wilderness at left, and Saint John rebuking Herod and the Beheading of Saint John at right. Yet, even this large ensemble is incomplete, for the work must also originally have included an image of the Baptism of Christ, probably just above or below the central panel, and it lacks its original decorative frame. Traditionally identified as the work of Lluís Borrassà (ca.1350–1424), the painting recently underwent a technical examination and reevaluation that suggests it is instead the work of Blasco de Grañén or his workshop.
Last Updated: 1/15/2019

Exhibition

This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Official Art Exhibition of the California Pacific International Exposition Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego , 5/29/1935 - 11/11/1935

Official Art Exhibition of the California Pacific International Exposition Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego , 2/12/1936 - 9/9/1936

Modern Masters of Spanish Painting: Legacy of Spain, XXth Century San Diego Museum of Art , 1/2/1969 - 3/4/1969

Bibliography

This object has the following bibliographic references:

Julia Gethman Andrews (DUP). A Catalogue of European Paintings, 1300-1870 San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1947
Page Number: 69-70, Figure Number: 69

The Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego Catalogue: San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1960
Page Number: 82, Figure Number: 82

Illustrated Catalogue: Official Art Exhibition of the San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1935
Page Number: 30, no. 593

Juan Antonio Gaya Nuño. La Pintura Española fuera de España Espasa-Calpe, S. A.. Madrid, España, 1958
Page Number: 90, no. 44

Chandler Rathfon Post. A History of Spanish Painting: The Hispano-Flemish Style in North-Western Spain Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1933
Page Number: 633-34, 635, Figure Number: 261

Illustrated Catalogue of the Official Art Exhibition of the San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1936
Page Number: 32, no. 369

Eric Young. Apollo The Financial Times, Ltd. London, England, June 1982
Page Number: 433, Figure Number: 1

Alexandre Masseron. Saint Jean Baptiste dans l'Art Arthaud. Paris, France, 1957
Page Number: 107, 108, Figure Number: 96 (detail)

Alexandre Masseron. Saint Jean Baptiste dans l'Art Arthaud. Paris, France, 1957
Page Number: 177 no. 96

Alexandre Masseron. Saint Jean Baptiste dans l'Art Arthaud. Paris, France, 1957
Page Number: 36, 40, Figure Number: 43

Mr. Colin Eisler. Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: Phaidon Press. London, England, 1977
Page Number: 160-161, Figure Number: 146

Peyton Boswell, Jr., ed. The Art Digest The Art Digest, Inc.. New York, New York, August 1, 1932
Page Number: 5, Figure Number: 5

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