In the course of the fourteenth century, a process of dialectic and synthesis took place between the two great poles of artistic modernity in Europe: on the one hand Paris, Northern France and the Low Countries, and on the other Central Italy, especially Tuscany. Around 1400 this process crystallised in a new aesthetic code, which despite having been formulated first and foremost in a French and 'Franco-Flemish' ambit, was also fed by other international contributions. The artistic dynamism of the Franco-Flemish area went hand in hand with the policies of patronage and prestige of the French ruling House of Valois, which explains the success of a cultural model that was to captivate many other European princes and lords.
Catalonia played a decisive part in this circuit of internationalism and was quick to make an original reinterpretation of a stylistic trend which, with a balance of its own making, combined filigree work and the observation of nature, elegance and expressiveness, material luxury and artistic skill. The result of this experimentation was one of the most intense and versatile periods in the history of Catalan art, so much so that today the names of Lluís Borrassà, Rafael Destorrents, Pere Joan and Bernat Martorell form part of the canon of medieval European art.
Written by the curators of the MNAC's Department of Gothic Art and by various outside specialists, alongside the descriptions of the individual items and groups exhibited, the catalogue includes a series of studies that consider the state of the question and new perspectives on this period in Catalan art, illustrating the many links that bound it to its European context. The book is rounded off by two technical studies, one of them devoted to the altar frontal and the liturgical vestments of the chapel of Saint George in the Palau de la Generalitat
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