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Who is Master of Arguis?

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By Gwylym Owen

The Master of Arguis was an Aragonese performer active in the first half of the 15th century. Stylistically, his affect is partnered to that of Juan de Levi and Bonanat Zaortiga, and is derived from the tradition of the International Gothic in Aragon. His publish is derived from a retable of Saint Michael dating to just about 1440, now in the Museo del Prado in Madrid; this was like the main altarpiece of the church of Arguis. The painting depicts the victory of Michael over the Antichrist, and focuses primarily upon the latter figure, pierced when a lance. Included in the scene are various secular figures, including kings and noblemen, as well as religious figures. At the bottom of the image may be seen a papal tiara and sceptre, symbols of the gift the Antichrist claims to wield as the supplementary Messiah. Two additional paintings, both dedicated to Saint Anne, are certified to the Master; one is in Barcelona, while the other, a small triptych, is in the collegiate church of Alquezar.

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