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The Battle of El Puig
on the Alterpiece of St George, Valencia, Spain, c.1400
A larger image of The Battle of El Puig on the Alterpiece of St George (Retablo de San Jorge), Valencia, Spain, c.1400
Altarpiece of St George
Object: Oil painting
Place of origin: Valencia (painted)
Date: First quarter of the 15th century (painted)
Artist/Maker: Master of the Centenar, Marçal de Sas, Andrés
Materials and Techniques: tempera and gilt on pine panel
Museum number: 1217-1864
Attributed to the Master of the Centenar (formerly ascribed to a German painter established in Valencia, Andrès Marçal de Sas (ca.1393-1410)), Alterpiece of St George, Valencia, Spain.
Tempera and Gilt on Pine Panel. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Mus Ref: 2006AF9838.
The altarpiece was commissioned by the Centenar de la Ploma, the confraternity of crossbowmen of Valencia, a prestigious civic militia company, for its chapel or assembly room.
One of the three principal panels of the altarpiece, which run vertically through its centre, depicts the Battle of El Puig (1237), a turning point in the reconquest of Catalonia, when St George was believed to have come miraculously to the aid of the Christian army, led by King James I of Aragon – seen here in striped red and gold livery, with St George at his side.
The Moor in pointed hood at top-right is referenced on p.46, The Moors - The Islamic West - 7th-15th Centuries AD by David Nicolle:
A Moorish warrior in a picture of the battle of Puig on the Retaule de San Jorge. This huge altarpiece was painted between AD 1393 and 1410 in Valencian style.
Its representation of Islamic troops is exceptionally realistic and accurate.
The figure shown here is probably typical of the North African Berber volunteers who helped defend the frontiers of Granada.
He wears a hooded burnus, defends himself with a typical leather daraqa shield,
but wields a new form of slightly curved sabre which became quite widespread in Morocco during the 15th century.
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England)
A Spanish Man-at-Arms c.1400 in Armies of the Middle Ages, volume 1 by Ian Heath, based on the Battle of El Puig
Granadine Cavalrymen, 14th-15th centuries in Armies of the Middle Ages, volume 1 by Ian Heath, based on the Battle of El Puig
The Battle of El Puig on the Alterpiece of St George, Jérica, Spain, c.1420
Other Spanish Soldiers on 15th Century Catalonian Altarpieces