Madona so sv. Katarínou a sv. Alžbetou | Spišský maliar; Majster Martin
The Madonna Enthroned Between St. Catherine and St. Elizabeth
Master Martin is one of the first known characters of Gothic art in the Spiš. This honour comes not only from his ‚signature‘ on the upper frame moulding of the Jánovce panel in the SNG, but also from other relatively easily attributable triptychs or altar retables. These include the altar of St. Nicolas in Veľká Lomnica or the Virgin triptych from Arnutovce, whose central panel is similar to our picture. Even though Master Martin’s art is not by any means revolutionary in its historical context, he nevertheless belonged to a group of talented and productive artists in the Spiš. On the Jánovce picture, presumably the central part of a triptych, he concentrates on the theatrically conceived scene of Mary, enthroned and crowned by angels – the Queen of Heaven (Regina coeli). By her sides, though compositionally in the background, she is accompanied by two uncommonly popular saints of the late middle ages – St. Catherine of Alexandria and St. Elizabeth of Hungary. Apart from the convincingly rendered materials the saints‘ attire (brocades, silks, furs, gold accessories, and even a transparent shirt for the Christ child), the painting compels by its decorative brocade background. This was a favoured technique since the mid-15th century, with which gesso was shaped to create a relief with foliate ornament. This was then covered with gold leaf or – as in our case – with cheaper silver leaf covered with a yellow varnish. Text: Dušan Buran
Literature: 111 diel zo zbierok. Slovenská národná galéria. Bratislava : SNG, Vyd. Slovart, 2008. 277 s. ISBN 9788080856014(viaz.), 54-55.