(active 1393-1410 in Valencia)

Retable of St George (detail)

c. 1400
Tempera on wood
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The painter chiefly responsible for the transition from the style of the fourteenth to that of the fifteenth century, was Marzal de Sax, who was of German origin. The most important of his works to be preserved is the splendid retable of St. George, one of the treasures of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The central scene depicts the conquest of Valencia by James I of Aragon. A distinctive feature of the work of this artist is his great skill in composition. The figures are grouped with great freedom, but without loss of order or clarity and without sacrifice of detail. The battle scene is a careful study of the weapons and military pomp of the period. It is clear that the art of Marzal de Sax must have contributed heavily to the spread of International Gothic style in Valencia and the consequent abandonment of a tradition of static images and delicate, but ingenuous compositions.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.