Virgin and Child Enthroned with Scenes from the Life of the Virgin
Morata Master (Spanish, Aragonese, late 15th century)
Tempera and gold on wood
Central panel, below, 52 x 34 5/8 in. (132.1 x 87.9 cm); central panel, above, 43 3/4 x 34 1/2 in. (111.1 x 87.6 cm); each side panel 84 1/2 x 22 3/4 in. (214.6 x 57.8 cm)
Bequest of George Blumenthal, 1941
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 305
Inscription: Inscribed (below each scene) with the identification of the subject
[Jacques Seligmann, New York, until 1917; sold to Blumenthal]; George and Florence Blumenthal, New York (1917–his d. 1941; cat., vol. 1, 1926, unpaginated)
Brooklyn Museum. "Take Care," January 1–February 28, 1954, no catalogue (41.190.28b only).
Hartford, Conn. Wadsworth Atheneum. "Take Care," March 10–April 25, 1954, no catalogue (41.190.28b only).
Jacques Seligmann. Letter to Mrs. George Blumenthal. January 30, 1917, attributes it to Pedro de Aponte, a 15th century painter from Saragossa; notes that it was ordered from the artist by "el Senor de Siguiès," and comes from a church, although "nobody would allow me to say from what church".
Stella Rubinstein-Bloch. Catalogue of the Collection of George and Florence Blumenthal. Vol. 1, Paintings—Early Schools. Paris, 1926, unpaginated, as Spanish, School of Jaime Huguet; finds similarities with other works attributed to Huguet, such as the triptych of Saint George (Kaiser Friedrich Museum, Berlin), the Adoration of the Magi (Vich Museum), and the Santa Julita altarpiece (San Quirse de Tarrassa).
Chandler Rathfon Post. A History of Spanish Painting. Vol. 8, The Aragonese School in the Late Middle Ages. Cambridge, Mass., 1941, part 2, pp. 402, 404, fig. 182, attributes it to the Morata Master and calls it his only known treatment of the Madonna and Child; notes that the Castilian inscriptions beneath each compartment establish the Aragonese rather than Catalan origin of this retable; observes that in most of the figures, the Morata Master "renounces his easily detected eccentricities and appears only as a normal, provincial imitator of Huguet" although there are "enough specimens of his hatchet-faced countenances to establish the attribution with surety"; describes the Virgin in the principal compartment as "an austere example of the Master's neurotic leanings".
Antoni José i Pitarch. Letter to Dulce Roman. January 14, 1998, dates it 1445–50 and calls it evidently an Aragonese work, though he cannot give an exact attribution; places it somewhere between the workshops of the Morata Master and Tomás Giner, finding the drawing of the figures in the central panel more energetic than the work of the Morata Master; observes a clear relationship between our panel of the Coronation of the Virgin and the retable of Saints Michael and Anthony Abbot in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston [attributed to Martín de Soria, active 1450–87].
Antoni José i Pitarch. Letter to Dulce Román. January 14, 1998, attributes it to an Aragonese artist between 1445 and 1450, somewhere between the workshop of the Master of Morata and the workshop of Tomás Giner.
The central panel of this retable depicts the Virgin and Child enthroned, with the Coronation of the Virgin flanked by music-making angels, above. On the left side are portrayals of the Nativity (above) and the Annunciation (below), and on the right, the Resurrection (above) and the Adoration of the Magi (below). Unidentified escutcheons of the donor adorn the dust guards.