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With the collaboration of the Fundación Amigos

American Friends of the Prado Museum acquires an excellent gothic painting by Lluís Borrassà to donate to the Museo Nacional del Prado Thursday, May 26, 2022

The work consists of the central painting of the Saint Martha, Saint Dominic and Saint Peter Martir altarpiece, made between 1421 and 1425 for the chapel dedicated to Saint Martha in the Barcelona Cathedral. One of the last works by Borrassà, it was commissioned by Guillem Despujol, a wealthy pharmacist of the time.

This donation will increase the representation of the important Catalan Gothic school in the collections in the Museo Nacional del Prado.

American Friends of the Prado Museum  acquires an excellent gothic painting by Lluís Borrassà to donate to the Museo Nacional del Prado

Detail of the central painting of the Saint Martha, Saint Dominic and Saint Peter Martir altarpiece. Lluís Borrassà. Acquisition of American Friends of the Prado Museum, in collaboration with the Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado

American Friends of the Prado Museum, in collaboration with the Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, has recently acquired a painting on panel by Lluís Borrassà to donate it to the museum and help expand the Prado’s collections.

With provenance from the Chapel of Saint Martha of the Barcelona Cathedral, for which it was made between 1421 and 1425, the panel corresponds to the central painting of the altarpiece, measures approximately 6 feet by 4 feet, and represents Saint Martha, Saint Dominic and Saint Peter Martyr.

At the end of the 18th century the monumental altarpiece was dismantled and its elements were separated as they entered into different private collections. 

The quality of this painting – the relevance of its author, its impressive size, and surviving documentation – support its historical-artistic importance. Its incorporation into the Museo Nacional del Prado will be a significant addition in representation of the Catalan Gothic, one of the most active and innovative schools in the Iberian Peninsula.  

The artist, Lluís Borrassà (doc. 1380-1422 ), was one of the finest and most prolific painters of the Gothic time period and more specifically of the period known as International Gothic. Borrassà’s popularity allowed him to set up a large and active workshop in Barcelona to produce works, especially large altarpieces, for a varied clientele. The Prado has two of his works, one of which entered with the Várez Fisa donation.

Borrassà made this work between 1421 and 1425, with various interventions of his large workshop, upon the commission by pharmacist Guillem Despujol, a wealthy bourgeois connected to the health trade, which was rather exceptional as an art patron for the time.

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