The Cathedral Museum of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, northwestern Spain, houses a fifteenth-century altarpiece of English craftsmanship. It is one of the rare examples of an English alabaster altarpiece that can be reliably dated and linked to a specific patron and precise destination. As is well known, most of the surviving alabaster reliefs were indeed put on the market after the English Reformation and the subsequent iconoclasm, when English churches were stripped of their adornments and decorative works. Such objects, brought to Europe and purchased by different buyers, lost all connection with their place of origin; the documents and sources attesting to their provenance did not accompany them, and the works were thus deprived of their history. Conversely, there are numerous documentary accounts of the commissioning of alabaster works that have been lost. These circumstances prevent any possibility of correlating documents and works, or verifying the verbal accounts of documents on the matter. The Santiago altarpiece, instead, is an exceptionally fortuitous case, which makes it possible to examine the circumstances and arrangements related to the commissioning of alabaster works more closely and thoroughly, as well as to study the role of their patrons.

Pilgrims and their Objects as Agents of Cultural Hybridization. The English Alabaster Altarpiece of Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Murat
2024

Abstract

The Cathedral Museum of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, northwestern Spain, houses a fifteenth-century altarpiece of English craftsmanship. It is one of the rare examples of an English alabaster altarpiece that can be reliably dated and linked to a specific patron and precise destination. As is well known, most of the surviving alabaster reliefs were indeed put on the market after the English Reformation and the subsequent iconoclasm, when English churches were stripped of their adornments and decorative works. Such objects, brought to Europe and purchased by different buyers, lost all connection with their place of origin; the documents and sources attesting to their provenance did not accompany them, and the works were thus deprived of their history. Conversely, there are numerous documentary accounts of the commissioning of alabaster works that have been lost. These circumstances prevent any possibility of correlating documents and works, or verifying the verbal accounts of documents on the matter. The Santiago altarpiece, instead, is an exceptionally fortuitous case, which makes it possible to examine the circumstances and arrangements related to the commissioning of alabaster works more closely and thoroughly, as well as to study the role of their patrons.
2024
The Routledge Companion to Global Renaissance Art
9781032261584
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.
Pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3504468
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 0
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact