Chronological framework

ca. 1300

Geographical Framework

Catalonia (Cerdanya)


Tempera painting on fir tree wood. Use of inorganic pigments as cinabrium, orpiment, charcoal and aerinite.

Profile and historiographical debate

With this name we refer a painter or a workshop active in Cerdanya and Ripollès. It is a local workshop trained in the Romanesque tradition but also influenced by the new Gothic aesthetic, which arrived from the other side of the Pyrenees between the second half of the XIII century and the first half of the XIV century. The characteristics of the works of this painter or workshop are squat figures, round faces and an expressive gesticulation. The compositions have neutral backgrounds and micro-architectural frames. This master work could be placed between the 1200 Art and the Lineal Gothic model from the other side of the Pyrenees.

The name of Master of Soriguerola is a historiographical convention, referring to a workshop active in the area of Cerdanya, Ripollès and Conflent that could have his seat in Puigcerdà. His work allows an explanation about how and in which moment the gothic aesthetic started penetrating in the Catalan region. Joan Ainaud de Lasarte (1954: 75-82) named the master. Although Ch. R. Post (1930: 26-28) had already pointed out the filiations between the altarpiece of Soriguerola and other pieces coming from Cerdanya and Ripollès, J. Ainaud de Lasarte was indeed who defined a wide catalogue of panel painting for this master and his disciples. J. Ainaud de Lasarte considered the master as the “link between the last forms of Romanesque painting and the beginning of the Gothic”. This historiographical way was followed by Marcel Durliat (1962: 319-320; 1967: 160-161), who increased the master catalogue, Josep Gudiol, Walter W. S. Cook, Eduard Junyent, Fritz Hermann, Marçal Olivar, José Mª Azcárate, Anna Mª Blasco, Núria Dalmases, Antoni José Pitarch, Santiago Alcolea, Mª. Angeles Piquero, Joan Sureda Pons, Miquel Àngel Alarcia, Eduard Carbonell and Rosa Alcoy (2005: 50-55). The latter said that “the painting of Master of Soriguerola is born from a progressive assimilation of the new European trends that (…) took occidental art to a more objective and conscious separation from the Byzantine model”, so that, we have to place his work during the last quarter of the XIII century, when the first Lineal Gothic is developed.

On the other hand, in Marisa Melero’s (2005: 27-34) opinion, Lineal Gothic aesthetic reached Catalonia through masters who came from the other side of the Pyrenees during the second quart of the 14th century. Those artists, very actives in South France, who learned near the Anglo-French tradition, could be displaced by the new Italianize aesthetic. The need to reach new clients could take them to neighbouring regions, as the kingdom of Mallorca. This kingdom appears in the European political map in 1276, after James I of Aragon (1213-1276) division of the lands between his two sons, and disappears in 1343 when it was annexed to the Crown of Aragon. The kingdom of Mallorca included Balearic Islands and all of those neighbouring territories with France: the county of Cerdanya, Roussillon, Conflent and Vallespir and the city of Montpelier. Taking into account this very peculiar political situation and the theories developed by Marcel Durliat about the art of this region (1962), Marisa Melero considered that the Anglo-French style could have penetrate in Catalonia through the kingdom of Mallorca where the new style should remain until the second half of the 14th century. Consequently, workshops that has grown up in the local tradition, as in the case of the Master of Soriguerola, could intend to emulate the new forms, through a stereotyping and an archaism of those forms, creating works between the tradition and the new aesthetic of the moment. So, in Marisa Melero’s opinion, the date post quem for the Master of Soriguerola, could be given by the cycle devoted to Saint Peter martyr that is located in Sant Domènec in Puigcerdà attributed to a workshop, which was trained in the Avignon Anglo-French tradition and dated between 1325 and 1340. 


  • Altar frontal from Sant Miquel in Soriguerola (MNAC)
  • Altar frontal from Santa Eugènia in Saga (Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris)
  • Altar Frontal from Sant Vicenç de La Llaguna
  • Laterals of an altar frontal from Ribes (MEV)
  • Altar frontal from Sant Cristòfol in Toses (MNAC)

Text: Gemma Malé


GUDIOL 1929: 300-303; POST 1930: 26-28; GUDIOL 1938: 7; GUDIOL 1943: 21; DURLIAT 1952: 191-211; COOK 1954: 109-117; DURLIAT 1954: 34-36; AINAUD 1954-55:75-82; FOLCH i TORRES 1956: 172; MARTINELL 1957: 253-287; COOK 1960: 23-24; JUNYENT 1960-1961 :247; DURLIAT 1961: 1-14; AINAUD 1962: 24; HERMANN 1962: 44-45; DURLIAT 1962:304-352; OLIVAR 1964: 61; DURLIAT 1967: 160-161; AINAUD 1973: 228-230; DURLIAT 1975: 73-74; AZCÁRATE 1974: 82; GUDIOL 1974: 218-219; SUREDA PONS 1977: 3-6; ALARCIA 1980: 50-51; COOK, GUDIOL 1980: 177-178; SUREDA PONS 1981:346-347; CARBONELL 1983: 143-144; BLASCO 1984: 89-91;SUREDA PONS 1984: 46-63; DALMASES, JOSÉ PITARCH 1984: 215-220; GUDIOL, ALCOLEA, 1986: 7-26; PIQUERO 1989 :38; AZCÁRATE 1990: 276; MELERO 1993: 5-22; CARBONELL, SUREDA PONS 1997: 376; MELERO 1997:25-38; MANOTE 1998: 42-43 i 254; ALCOY 2005: 50-55; MELERO  2005: 100-107.