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Art Médieval et Colonial et 24 Netsukes de Collection

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N° 1
Featherwork. Mexico. Novohispanic. End of 18th century. Colonial.
"Our Lady of Bethlehem"
Featherwork on a metal plaque, with a multitude of small, richly coloured feathers. The faces and hands are painted in oil. 34 x 24 cm.
The vividness and enormous variety of the colouring of the feathers on this piece are outstanding, giving it an iridescent effect depending on the light.
Its magnificent state of preservation is also outstanding.
When they arrived in Mexico, the Spanish were impressed with the importance the people there gave to the use of feathers. Hernán Cortés, in 1519, sent feathered fans, helmets and shields to Spain.
In 1524 he sent a present of a work of art made using featherwork to King Charles V, and later, in 1527, Cortés sent 38 featherwork pieces to Asia.
Evangelisation changed the subject matter of the art, and the “amantecas” (artists who worked with feathers) began to use this stunning technique to create religious images, many of which were sent to Europe and Asia.
Various examples were sent to different popes in Rome, who in turn gave them as presents to the nobility. This is the reason why some of these featherwork pieces can be found in important European museums.
One of the oldest pieces of featherwork art with a Christian theme is the “Mass of Saint Gregory,” made in 1539 as a gift for Pope Paul II, and which is kept in the Musée des Jacobins de Auch, in France.
Another important piece, made by Juan Correa in the 19th century, “Saint Luke painting the Virgin”, can be found in the Musée de l’Homme in Paris.
Furthermore, a few other examples have been preserved, the most noteworthy of which include those at the Archbishopric of Puebla, the Franz Mayer Museum, the Museo de América in Madrid, the Tepozotian Museum, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, and the Museo Nacional de Colombia in Bogota.
The Museo de América in Madrid has thirteen examples of this marvellous featherwork art in its collections. To highlight the symbology and what they represented, there is no better guide than to quote what is said in the technical records of some of these pieces, in which they state:
“Feathers in the pre-hispanic world were directly linked to sacred symbology and with the prestige of those who were permitted to wear them. Quetzalcoatl, the great god who civilised the nahuatl culture, was the mythical master of the amantecas, the artists who congregated especially in the Amantla area of Mexico-Tenochtitlan and who worked with a wide variety of precious feathers. 
The understanding that the feather was an element of strong symbolic and religious content encouraged the Spanish missionaries to incorporate the expert amantecas within the convent schools, where, alongside the tlacuilos (painters) they learned to interpret European visual representations, and make subtle vestments for the priests of the new religion, and embellish many liturgical and devotional objects with the inclusion of the feather. They began production of small pictures which used Christian narratives as their subject matter, which they learnt about from the friars through the paintings and prints that they selected as models.” (file:///C:/Users/usuario/Downloads/ficha.pdf)
Reference bibliography: Alessandra Russo, Gerhard Wolf and Diana Fane, "Images Take Flight. Feather Art in Mexico and Europe. 1400 - 1700". Hirmer, Munich, 2015.

Featherwork. Mexico. Novohispanic. End of 18th century. Colonial. "Our Lady of Bethlehem" Featherwor…
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N° 2
Featherwork. Mexico. Novohispanic. End of 18th century. Colonial.
"Saint Isidore the Labourer"
Featherwork on a metal plaque, with a multitude of small, richly coloured feathers. The faces and hands are painted in oil. 34 x 24 cm.
The vividness and enormous variety of the colouring of the feathers on this piece are outstanding, giving it an iridescent effect depending on the light.
Its magnificent state of preservation is also outstanding.
When they arrived in Mexico, the Spanish were impressed with the importance the people there gave to the use of feathers. Hernán Cortés, in 1519, sent feathered fans, helmets and shields to Spain.
In 1524 he sent a present of a work of art made using featherwork to King Charles V, and later, in 1527, Cortés sent 38 featherwork pieces to Asia.
Evangelisation changed the subject matter of the art, and the “amantecas” (artists who worked with feathers) began to use this stunning technique to create religious images, many of which were sent to Europe and Asia.
Various examples were sent to different popes in Rome, who in turn gave them as presents to the nobility. This is the reason why some of these featherwork pieces can be found in important European museums.
One of the oldest pieces of featherwork art with a Christian theme is the “Mass of Saint Gregory,” made in 1539 as a gift for Pope Paul II, and which is kept in the Musée des Jacobins de Auch, in France.
Another important piece, made by Juan Correa in the 19th century, “Saint Luke painting the Virgin”, can be found in the Musée de l’Homme in Paris.
Furthermore, a few other examples have been preserved, the most noteworthy of which include those at the Archbishopric of Puebla, the Franz Mayer Museum, the Museo de América in Madrid, the Tepozotian Museum, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, and the Museo Nacional de Colombia in Bogota.
The Museo de América in Madrid has thirteen examples of this marvellous featherwork art in its collections. To highlight the symbology and what they represented, there is no better guide than to quote what is said in the technical records of some of these pieces, in which they state:
“Feathers in the pre-hispanic world were directly linked to sacred symbology and with the prestige of those who were permitted to wear them. Quetzalcoatl, the great god who civilised the nahuatl culture, was the mythical master of the amantecas, the artists who congregated especially in the Amantla area of Mexico-Tenochtitlan and who worked with a wide variety of precious feathers. 
The understanding that the feather was an element of strong symbolic and religious content encouraged the Spanish missionaries to incorporate the expert amantecas within the convent schools, where, alongside the tlacuilos (painters) they learned to interpret European visual representations, and make subtle vestments for the priests of the new religion, and embellish many liturgical and devotional objects with the inclusion of the feather. They began production of small pictures which used Christian narratives as their subject matter, which they learnt about from the friars through the paintings and prints that they selected as models.” (file:///C:/Users/usuario/Downloads/ficha.pdf)
Reference bibliography: Alessandra Russo, Gerhard Wolf and Diana Fane, "Images Take Flight. Feather Art in Mexico and Europe. 1400 - 1700". Hirmer, Munich, 2015.

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N° 18
Gonçal Peris (Documented in Valencia from 1380 - 1451)
"Birth of Saint Louis of Toulouse"
Tempera on panel and gold background. 71 x 60 cm.
Gonçal Peris is one of the most important figures of Valencian gothic painting in the first half of the 15th century.
Trained in Pere Nicolau´s workshop, he soon set up his own workshop, one of his first commissions being the altarpiece of Saint Martha and Saint Clement made in 1412 for the Bishop of Barcelona, Francesc Climent Sapera, for Valencia Cathedral.
Other of his works include the altarpiece of Saint Martin, Saint Ursula and Saint Anthony which is kept an the Valencia Museo de Bellas Artes; the altar piece of Saint Barbara, from Puertomingalvo, which is now in the Barcelona MNAC; Saint Dominic and four saints in the Prado; Pietà with Arma Christi at the Louvre etc.
As José Gómez Frechina and Francesc Ruiz Quesada indicate in issue nº 14 of the "Retrotabulum" journal, when writing about this painting: "together with two compartments dedicated to Saint Bartholomew, in the former Mateu collection, there was a panel which Saralegui identified with the birth of the virgin Mary, but that, maybe, could have been related to a piece of furniture dedicated to the Bishop Saint Francis. In the painting which we are now commenting on, the mother of the future blessed one appears, crowned and without a halo, which makes her less likely to be recognised as Saint Ann or Saint Isabel, so in consequence, it is thought to be the birth of the Virgin, or of Saint John the Baptist."

Bibliography:
- SARALEGUI, L. DE "Pere Nicolau II. Sus obras" (Pere Nicolau II, his works) Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Excursiones, 1942, p. 112-113.
- GÓMEZ FRECHINA, J. and RUIZ QUESADA, F., "Retrotabulum. Estudis d'Art Medieval nº 14 setembre 2014", reproduced on p. 21-22.

Provenance:
- Former Mateu Collection
- Private collection, Barcelona.

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