VERGÓS II, Francesc
Chronological framework1417 – ca. 1452
Geographical FrameworkCatalonia (Barcelona, Puigcerdà, Castelló d’Empúries) and France (Ile)
- Making drapes
- Painting on drapes and on table
Profile and historiographical debate
He was son of the painter Francesc Vergós I and Bartomeua, and he got married with Elionor. His work is focused primarily on Barcelona and the province of Girona. Formed in the International Gothic tradition and strongly influenced by Bernat Martorell, he was a versatile artist who often worked with Pere Terrers in making heraldic embroidery cloth (drapes ??),, in making altarpieces as the altarpiece of the Holy Cross for the chapel of l'Hospital (1443-1445) and even in wall decorations as the tympanum of the main facade of Santa Maria del Mar, this time with Joan Cabrera.
Since 1448 there was a change in the course of his artistic activity. This year he moves to Castelló d'Empúries where, according to the documents that were discovered by Miquel Pujol (1988: 233-259), he collaborated in the making of two images of the altarpiece dedicated to Saint Michael. From this moment he concentrated his artistic activity in the province of Girona where he was consolidated as a panel painter. There is no record of his work in more ephemeral media such as cloths, with whom he had worked during his stay in Barcelona.
In 1450, Francesc Vergós II is documented in Cerdanya, working in the altarpiece of Saint Domingo de Puigcerdà, along with Llorenç Madur, and a year later, master and assistant are hired by Gelabert Saguer, merchant of Perpignan, to make the altar dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua and Saint Bernardino for the Franciscan church of the Ile (Roussillon). Marcel Durliat (1954) reported that this contract contains an outline of how the work had to be after it was finished. Unfortunately, both altarpieces were unfinished due to the death of Francesc Vergós II and were finished by Bartomeu Bosom and Joan Mates, respectively. Joan Molina (2006), suggests the possibility that, after leaving Castelló d'Empúries, Francesc Vergós II had kept his relationship with Honorat Borrassà and Joan Antigó and considering that, about 1450, both masters have also been documented as working in the capital of Cerdanya.
The change that occurs in the career of Francesc Vergós II after his trip to Girona is also reflected in the documentation. Thus, his consideration of sartor (tailor) that he sometimes receives for his work as a painter of draperies, curtains, flags, etc., changed and he begun being considered painter from the moment he appears as director of works on wood or wall.
As it happens with his father, Francesc Vergós I, and his uncle, Jaume Vergós I, the loss of most of his works do not allow to analyse properly his qualities but, again, the preserved documentation and the price that is paid for some of his works allow us to consider that he enjoyed a certain social and artistic acknowledgment.
The first author who published some information about this master was Carreras Candi (1913). It happened after the contract of the altarpiece of the Holy Cross was discovered. However, he considered Francesc Vergós II a minor painter that took a backseat in the family of painters of Barcelona. For years, the work of Francesc Vergós II remained unknown and his figure was undervalued by art historians. The discovery of some documents by Miquel Pujol i Canelles (1988), -who noticed his participation in the execution of the altarpiece of Saint Michael of Castelló d'Empúries-, has revalued his figure to the point of being considered one of the great exponents of the International Gothic, and one of those responsible for the diffusion in Girona and Roussillon of the models of the last International Gothic that circulated in Barcelona (MOLINA 2006).
- Preparation of heraldic embroidery drapes
- Painting and lining of imperial drapes for Jaume de Tagamanent
- Altarpiece of the Holy Cross of the chapel of l’Hospital de Barcelona (1443-1445)
- Decoration of the shields, the flags and surcoats of the funeral of Antoni Tallander, priest of Borra (1446)
- Decoration of the tympanum of Santa Maria del Mar de Barcelona
- Altarpiece dedicated to Saint Michael of Castelló d’Empúries (1448)
- Altarpiece of Saint Domingo of Puigcerdà (1450)
- Altarpiece dedicated to Saint Anthony of Pádua and Saint Bernardino of the Franciscan church of the Ile, in Roussilon (1451)
- Antoni Tallander, priest of Borra
- Joan Andreu Sabater, merchant
- Jaume Cabrer, merchant
- Manel de Vilaplana, merchant
- Antoni Jofre, merchant
- Pere Aranyó, tailor
- Gelabert Saguer, merchant
- Jaume de Tagamanent
- Hospital de la Santa Creu
- Parish of Castelló d’Empúries.
- Dominicans of Puigcerdà
- July 31th, 1426 - Payment of the dowry by Pau Ceba, painter, maker of curtains and maker of “perpuntes” of Barcelona, -son of Pau Ceba and Serena-, to his wife Serena, -daughter of Antoni Company and Francesca-. Arxiu Històric de Protocols de Barcelona, Protocols notarials de Barcelona, notary Joan Nadal, leg, 13, man. años 1426-1427
- October 2th, 1439 - Payment of Pere Terres to Francesc Vergós for the acquisition of a 12 years old black slave. Arxiu Històric de Protocols de Barcelona, Protocols notarials de Barcelona, notary Bernat Montserrat, leg. 5, man. 13
- March 1th, 1442 – Francesc Vergós and Antoni Galí receive a delivery in commission from the merchant Joan Andreu Sabater. Arxiu Històric de Protocols de Barcelona, Protocols notarials de Barcelona, notary Esteve Mir, leg. 1 man. 1
- January 17th, 1443 – Bill payment for the delivery in commission of 8 pounds and 3 salaries of Barcelona from the merchant Jaume Cabrer to Francesc Vergós and Jaume Cabrera. Arxiu Històric de Protocols de Barcelona, Protocols notarials de Barcelona, notary Antoni Vilanova, leg. 4, man. 9
- November 29th, 1443 - Contract signed between l'Hospital de la Santa Creu and the painters Pere Terrés and Francescs Vergós for the altarpiece of the chapel dedicated to the Holy Cross. Arxiu Històric de l’Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau i Biblioteca de Catalunya. Fons de l’Hospital de la Santa Creu de Barcelona. Man. not. unknown
- March 6th, 1446 - The painters Joan Cabrera and Francesc Vergós Antoni along with the barber Antoni Mieres sign a receipt in commission to the merchant Antoni Jofre. Arxiu Històric de Protocols de Barcelona, Protocols notarials de Barcelona, notary Bartomeu Costa leg. 16, man. years 1445-1446
- September 6th, 1446 - The painter Francesc Vergós and the weaver Joan de Vilamajor sign a receipt in commission to the merchant Joan Andreu Sabater. Arxiu Històric de Protocols de Barcelona, Protocols notarials de Barcelona, notary Bastat Bernat, leg. 2, man. com. 3
- September 10th, 1446- Payment made by the executors of Antoni Tallander, priest of Borra, to decorate the shields, the flags and surcoats of his funeral. Arxiu Històric de Protocols de Barcelona, Protocols notarials de Barcelona, notary Pere Devesa, leg. 2, man. years 1446-1449
- August 3(?)th,1447- Francesc Vergós and the weaver Joan de Vilamajor sign the receipt of a delivery in commission by the tailor Pere Aranyó. Arxiu Històric de Protocols de Barcelona, Protocols notarials de Barcelona, notary anonymous, s. XV, leg. 2, n. 11, man. years 1447-1451, f. 1
- March 13th, 1448 - Commitment between Francesc Vergós and the merchant Manel de Vilaplana for the making of a curtain. Arxiu Històric de Protocols de Barcelona, Protocols notarials de Barcelona, notary Bastat Bernat, leg. 2, man. 4
- September 3th, 1448 – Bill payment concerning the making of some figures that were painted by Francesc Vergós, citizen of Barcelona, in the altarpiece of Saint Michael for the church of Santa Maria of Castelló d'Empúries. Arxiu Històric de Girona, Protocols notarials de Castelló d’Empúries, Cast. 637, notary Pere Cellers
- Commitment between Llorenç Madur and Bartomeu Bossoms to finish the unfinished altarpiece of the Dominicans of Puigcerdà. Arxiu Històric de Girona, Protocols notarials de Castelló d’Empúries, Cast. 704, notary Gabriel Nadal
Text: Gemma Malé
CARRERAS CANDI 1913: 217-220; DURAN I SANPERE 1973-1975: 180-203; DURLIAT 1954: 99-119; GUDIOL-ALCOLEA 1974: 139; MOLINA 1994: 481-515; MOLINA 2006: 122-146; POST VII 1930-1966: 414-476; PUJOL I CANELLES 1988: 233-259; PUJOL I CANELLES 1994: 45-79; PUJOL I CANELLES 2006: 286-289; RUIZ I QUESADA 2006: 224-225; SANPERE I MIQUEL 1906: 43-45; WEBSTER 1994: 45-79.