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The Illusion of the American Frontier

From 03 November 2015 to 07 February 2016

Early booking is recommended

Edward S. Curtis
An Oasis in the Badlands (detail), 1905
Photography, gelatin silver. 15.2 x 20.2 cm
Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.

Biography and Works

Joan Mates
Active between 1391 and 1431 (?)


Mates was a painter working in Catalunya between 1391 and 1431 whose work falls within the international, Catalan Gothic style that developed around the figure of Luis Borrassá. Mates was an expressive painter who used contrasts of lines to model the figures, resulting in works that are primarily notable for their elegance and in which the influence of Franco-Flemish illuminators has also been detected. His style developed over the course of his career and became more mannered. Mates executed important commissions, primarily in Barcelona and also in Huesca. He completed the Saint Thomas and Saint Anthony Altarpiece for Barcelona cathedral, which had been left unfinished by Pere Serra on his death. Documented works by Mates include the Saint Martin and Saint Ambrose altarpieces, again for Barcelona cathedral, of 1411; the Saint Sebastian Altarpiece of 1417–25 (Museo Nacional de’Art de Catalunya); and the altarpiece of the high altar of the church of Santa María in Vila-Rodona of 1422

The. exact date of Mates’ death is not known, but he made his will in 1431. His son Jorge followed his father’s profession and became an apprentice in the workshop of Jaume Huguet in 1469.

© 2009 Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

Paseo del Prado 8, 28014 Madrid, España

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