Chronological frameworkDocumented between 1463/1465 and 1495
Geographical FrameworkCatalonia (Barcelona and Granollers)
Tempera on wood with stucco reliefs and gilded with gold leaf
Profile and historiographical debate
He was the son of Jaume Vergós II and Caterina, brother of Rafael, brother in law of Joan and Climent Domènec and he got married with Beatriu Sunyer in 1497. The works of the Vergós brothers show an outstanding taste for realism, monumental figures and the treatment of brocades, following closely huguetian formulas. This is the reason why they have come to be considered the main followers of Jaume Huguet. The trace that this master left on Pau and Rafael Vergós has led to the idea that they have received part of their training in the workshop of Jaume Huguet; a master that, according to the preserved documents, maintained a close friendship with his father, Jaume Vergós II.
The documentation attests that Pau Vergós was one of the most sought artists of the moment, as he received some of the most important commissions of the city of Barcelona, like the altarpiece of Saint Anthony of the Brotherhood of “Pelaires”, which was made by the sculptors Michel Luschner and Joan Enric d'Alemanya, and that should preside the chapel that the brethren had in the convent of Sant Agustí de Barcelona. Unsurprisingly, his work went beyond the walls of the city and he even hired the altarpiece of Saint Stephen Protomartyr for the city of Granollers. Unfortunately, both works remained unfinished when in 1495 death took him and it was taken over by his brother Rafael Vergós and his father Jaume Vergós II, becoming a kind of work that we could consider as family business.
Without considering these two works perfectly documented, historiography has tried to develop a catalogue for this artist, who was rooted in huguetian formulas, from stylistic and iconographic analysis, and becoming an arduous task considering that it is not preserved any autograph work. Even considering that, on the contrary, most of them are the result of the collaboration between various hands which are very close stylistically. Salvador Sanpere (1906) considered that Pau Vergós would collaborate on several works in Barcelona: the altarpiece of Saint Augustine of the “Blanqueros” of Barcelona; in the altarpiece of Saint Anthony Abad for the church of Sant Antoni Abad; in the altarpiece of the Resellers; in the altarpiece of the Constable; and that of Saint Tecla and Sain Sebastian of the cathedral of Barcelona, where we can distinguish some other hands that the authors have attributed to his brother Rafael Vergós. Later, Chandler Post (1966) extended this catalogue by adding four new tables dedicated to Franciscan saints that are part of the Mc Ilhenny Collection of Philadelphia and also of the Mr. Frank A. Vanderlip, Jr. Collection in New York.
Currently, the documentation has shown that some of these works had been hired by Jaume Huguet (AINAUD 1990). This fact justifies why some altarpieces as the altarpiece of the Constable, that of Saint Anthony Abad or Saint Tecla and Saint Sebastian have been attributed to his workshop. The general debate about the authorship of these works, was baptized by Rosa Alcoy as "the Huguet-Vergós issue” (1998), and it is still unresolved. This debate raises the possibility of a close collaboration between the two families that would go beyond simple learning or training.
- Altarpiece of Saint Anthony for the chapel that the Confraternity of the “Pelaires” had in the convent of Sant Agustí de Barcelona (1493)
- Altarpiece of Saint Stephen Protomartyr of Granollers (?)
- Confraternity of the “Pelaires”
- Parish of Granollers
1493 –Contract signed between Pau Vergós and the representatives of the brotherhood of the “Pelaires” for the execution of the altarpiece for the convent of Sant Agustí de Barcelona. Archivo Histórico de Protocolos de Barcelona, Protocolos notariales de Barcelona, notary Bartomeu Costa, man. 16
Text: Gemma Malé
AINAUD DE LASARTE 1990: 98-106; ALCOY 1998: 315-318; CAMÓN AZNAR 2000: 405-413; DURAN I SANPERE 1973-1975: 180-203; GARRIGA 1998: 15-35; GUDIOL I CUNILL 1915; GUDIOL I RICART 1955: 282; GUDIOL-ALCOLEA 1974: 175; MOLINA 2006: 122-146; POST VII 1930-1966: 414-476; SANPERE I MIQUEL 1915: 2-7; SANPERE I MIQUEL 1906: 43-45.