The Museo del Prado has received an important donation of works from the Várez Fisa Collection in a ceremony attended by the President of the Spanish Government

<em>The Virgin of Tobed</em>, Jaume Serra. Tempera on panel, 161.4 x 117.8 x 14 cm, 1359, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado. Várez Fisa Donation

The Virgin of Tobed, Jaume Serra. Tempera on panel, 161.4 x 117.8 x 14 cm, 1359, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado. Várez Fisa Donation

    The donation, which comprises twelve, 13th- to 15th-century works of Spanish art from the Várez Fisa Collection, will enrich and complement the holdings of Spanish Medieval and Renaissance art in the Prado’s collections. It includes key paintings from this period, such as The Virgin of Tobed (ca.1359-1362), an exceptional example of Catalan Italo-Gothic painting traditionally attributed to Jaume Serra.

    Tuesday 29 January 2013

    Mariano Rajoy, the President of the Spanish Government, attended the formalisation this morning of the agreement between the Royal Board of Trustees of the Museo del Prado and the Várez Fisa family with regard to the donation of the most important group of works of Spanish art from the Romanesque period to the Early Renaissance in private hands. This collection has been created over the past few decades by José Luis Várez Fisa and his wife, María Milagros Benegas.

    The addition of the group to the Museum’s holdings will fill some of the gaps in this part of the Prado’s collection and will enrich and complement other styles and artists already represented. As stipulated in the terms of the agreement, the works will be shown in a gallery named the Várez Fisa Gallery in acknowledgement of the donors’ generosity. This gallery will be located within the new display of Spanish painting from the Romanesque period to the Renaissance. The Museum’s Trustees have commissioned its design and installation from Rafael Moneo, the architect of the Prado’s extension and a Trustee of the Museum. Also on display in this space will be the Saint Christopher Altarpiece, donated by José Luis Várez Fisa in 1970, and Lluís Borrassá’s panel of Saint Andrew refuses to worship Idols, recently acquired by the Spanish State from the same collection.

    Particularly outstanding within this donation is the central panel of the altarpiece for the high altar of the church of Santa María in Tobed (Zaragoza), The Virgin of Tobed (ca.1359-1362). Attributed to Jaume Serra, it is an historically important work in addition to its aesthetic merit as the donor depicted is the future Henry II, who was the first Castilian monarch of the Trastamara dynasty and also acceded to the crown of Aragon in 1412.

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