Soldier. Hermitage of San Baudelio. Casillas de Berlanga (Soria)Ca. 1125. Fresco painting on mural transferred to canvas, 288 x 130 cm.
This set of mural paintings that adorned the interior of the early eleventh-century Mozarabe church of San Baudelio de Berlanga was taken off the walls and exported to the United States in 1926, where it was divided among different institutions. Pieces from that set are now exhibited in museums in Boston and Indianapolis, and at the Cloisters Museum in New York. The six fragments were part of the decoration of the inner register of the nave of the Hermitage of San Baudelio, and the front of the choir stalls. All of the subjects were secular. The compositions are simple, using primary colors, and the figures are flat, with very summary profiles. The present piece was originally located in the chapel that advances toward the central column, on the wall that forms an angle. Armed with a lance and buckler, he assumes a dynamic pose, almost directly facing the viewer. His figure stands out against the light background. By placing one of his feet on the reddish band that frames him, he creates a minimum space, separated from the background, like all the other paintings except the Bear (P07263). An Eastern-influenced frieze at the top, above the band, has two lions enclosed in circles separated by a keyhole arch. Access to the six fragments: Elephant (P07264); Hare Hunting (P07265); Deer Hunting (P07268); Soldier or Beater (P07266); Curtain (P07267); Bear (P07263).