Letizia Treves (ed.)
128 pages; 93 colour illustrations; hardback; 21 x 27 cm
English; published by National Gallery Company Ltd. with major support from the CEEH
25$ / 19,95£
Painted in 1468, Saint Michael Triumphant over the Devil, which was acquired by the National Gallery in 1995, is unquestionably the most important early Spanish painting in Britain. The first documented work by Bartolomé Bermejo (about 1440–about 1501), a fifteenth-century Spanish artist by whom only about 20 paintings are known, it depicts the Archangel Michael defeating the devil, in the form of a hybrid monster, with Antoni Joan, lord of Tous, kneeling nearby. The work is remarkable for its mastery of the oil-painting technique, influenced by Netherlandish painting and unrivalled by Bermejo’s contemporaries in Spain. This can be seen in his sensitive use of colour, the detailed depiction of cloth and jewels, and in the reflections in Saint Michael’s gleaming armour. Following the painting’s detailed technical examination and conservation, this book presents a fascinating account of this rare work, placing it in the broader context of Bermejo’s career in fifteenth-century Spain.
Letizia Treves graduated in History of Art at the University of Cambridge and received aPhD from The Courtauld Institute of Art, writing her dissertation on Michelangelo’s drawings used by Daniele da Volterra. She worked for Sotheby’s London, and since 2013 she is Curator of Italian and Spanish Paintings 1600–1800 at the National Gallery, London.