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Ferrer Bassa: life and works

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By Gwylym Owen

Ferrer Bassa (c. 1285 – 1348) was a Catalan Gothic painter and miniaturist.

He was responsive in the yet to be 14th century, as proved by two documents which attest him enthusiastic in two chapels at Sitges. Ten years unconventional he worked for Alfonso IV of Aragon, executing miniatures for the manuscripts of the Uses of Barcelona and the Costumes of Catalonia, showing a mighty French and Sienese influence. His production increased during the reign of Peter IV of Aragon, especially below royal commissions, such as the Christ and the Virgin in royal chapel of Barcelona (1344).

His main steadfast work is the series of wall paintings in the St. Michael Chapel in the Monastery of Pedralbes. It includes some twenty scenes basing on two main themes: the Passion of Christ and the Seven Pains of the Virgin, showing Giottesque influences, as without difficulty as from Duccio di Buoninsegna and Ambrogio Lorenzetti.

He has been recognized with the main role in the Catalan phase of the Great Canterbury Psalter. Also official to Bassa are a Coronation of the Virgin in the church of Bellpuig and a St. Bernard in the museum of Vich. His son Arnau was plus a painter and collaborated later his daddy on several works. They both died of plague in 1348.

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