QUERCIA, Jacopo della
(b. ca. 1367, Quercia Grossa, d. 1438, Siena)

Trenta Altar: Sts Ursula and Lawrence

San Frediano, Lucca

The Trenta Altar is basically a conservative sacra conversazione with the Virgin and Child enthroned against a cloth of honour in a shallow central niche. To the viewer's left and right, standing in self-contained niches framed by pilasters, are Sts Ursula and Lawrence and Sts Jerome and Richard.

The saints of the Trenta altar bear a striking resemblance to the Virgin and the Virtues from the Fonte Gaia, having the same small oval heads with pointed chins and thick necks. The remoteness of expression harks back to the Ferrara Madonna, but now the figures are wrapped in heavy draperies with elaborate convoluted folds.

In the Trenta altar, Quercia's treatment of relief figures and the architecture as parts of a single unified decorative pattern is comparable to carved altarpieces in the North.

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