Altarpiece of the Councillors1445
Tempera on wood, 285 x 310 cm
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona
Chronologically, the first exponent of the Hispano-Flemish style was Luis Dalmau, a native of Valencia, who must have been born around the year 1400. Though most of his work has been lost, the few paintings that survive are of great significance.
In 1443 the City Council of Barcelona commissioned an altarpiece (a large panel and a predella) for the chapel of the municipal council of Barcelona. The painting was signed in 1445. Unfortunately, the predella was lost. In the Retable of the Councillors his technique, precise and painstaking, though not without brilliance and even inspiration, embodies various elements adapted from Van Eyck. This painting, executed in oils, has all the characteristics of the style it represents, including the sensation of viewing the world through an optical instrument.