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Apse of Santa María d’Àneu

  • Apse of Santa María d’Àneu. Barcelona © MNAC - Museu Nacional d´Art de Catalunya

    Apse of Santa María d’Àneu. Barcelona © MNAC - Museu Nacional d´Art de Catalunya




Cultural background


Original title

Ábside de Santa María de Àneu
National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC)
Barcelona, Catalonia

It is notable for its complex iconography, particularly the synthesis of prophetic images of the Old Testament and the unusual presence of archangels acting as lawyers for mankind before God.

The decoration of the apse of the church of Santa María d’Àneu combines themes and motifs from the Old and New Testaments. The Epiphany is depicted on the vault, with Mary in Majesty and the Three Kings. In the lower register are two seraphim singing from Isaiah's vision in the temple of Jerusalem (Is. 6, 3-6). They hold tongs with embers to the lips of the prophets Elijah and Isaiah. In the middle, the four wheels of fire of Yahweh’s chariot allude to Ezekiel's vision (Ez. 1.15). The three archangels Michael, Gabriel and Rafael also appear as lawyers on the day of the Last Judgment. This original subject has its sources in Byzantine-influenced Italy.

Details of the work

Church of Santa María d’Àneu (La Guingueta d’Àneu, Lleida)

Mural painting

700 cm x 410 cm x 210 cm



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