Altarpiece of Saint Vincent

Room 25
Artists / Makers / Authorities: 
Bernat Martorell
Sant Celoni, circa 1400 – Barcelona, 1452
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Bernat Martorell, one of the most relevant painters of Catalan gothic, made this altarpiece probably around 1430. It’s one of the few sets by the painter that is conserved as a whole. Of reduced dimensions, it’s composed of a main body of three streets and two floors, aside from the predella that contains a magnificent circle dedicated to the passion of Christ. In the centred street we find the image of Saint Vincent dressed as a deacon, with the book and the palm as a sign of martyr, and in front of a rack, which was one of the instruments that was used in his torture. By his side, we can see four scenes of the passion of the Saint and, in the upper part, in the usual place of the Calvary in the portraits of the time, we find an image of the Virgin of Mercy, that with her open mantle is sheltering two groups of characters, with Saint Benedict and Saint Bernard in front, the main saints of the Order of Saint Benedict and Cistercians respectively. The presence of this saints, with the representation of the monastery of Poblet’s weapons in the dust cover, makes you believe that the set was originally made for the hermitage of Santa Creu de Menàrguens, a location that by that time depended of the aforementioned monastery, or it was made to be in the same monastery of Poblet but that later on would be moved to the hermitage. 


Circa 1438-1440

288 x 238 x 24.5 cm

Ignasi Girona and Anna Jover Bequest, 1930

Inventory number: 


Probably from the parish church of Sant Vicenç de Menàrguens (Noguera).
Tempera and gold leaf on wood
Century: 15th
Subject: Religion
Bernat Martorell - Retaule de sant Vicenç - Cap a 1438-1440
Retaule de sant Vicenç