BASSA, Ferrer
(active 1324-1348)

Three Women at the Tomb

c. 1346
Monastery of Pedralbes, Barcelona

Pedralbes once a village or small town, is now one of the suburbs of Barcelona. It is the site of a convent of the Order of St Claire which was built around 1326. There, in the chapel of St Michael, are Ferrer Bassa's frescoes, depicting scenes from the life of Christ.

The influence of fourteenth-century Italian art is more clearly discernible in the work of Ferrer Bassa than in that of any other Spanish painter. He was active between 1324 and 1348 and his pictures are closely modelled on those of Giotto whom he greatly admired. There is in the work of both artists the same compositional structure and the same reticent range of colours. The sepulchre behind the figures shows an attempt to convey the feeling of space; the tree in the background represents the latest trend of the period; the three-quarter view of the faces is also something seen in the work of Giotto. The gestures of the three women and the angel are almost identical, an indication that Bassa, though undoubtedly talented, was by no means an innovator.