Arizona Arts

Ongoing • In Kress I Gallery

The Altarpiece From Ciudad Rodrigo

A jewel of the UAMA collection and one of the most important works produced in 15th-century Spain.


Fernando Gallego, Christ and the Samaritan Woman, 1480-88, Oil on panel, Gift of Samuel H. Kress Foundation


This altarpiece, also called a retablo, was made for the cathedral of the city (Ciudad) Rodrigo in the province of Salamanca, Spain, between the years 1480 and 1488, and after 1493.

The 26 paintings were primarily created by the artists Fernando Gallego and Maestro Bartolomé, and their workshops. Although Gallego also collaborated with Bartolomé on the Altarpiece of the Church of Santa Maria in Trujillo (ca. 1490), little was known about Bartolomé’s work until research and restoration was completed on these panels between 2005-2008 by the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and the Kimbell Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas.

The style of painting is Hispano-Flemish, which was a hybrid of Spanish painting influenced by art made in the Northern European countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, and parts of France and Germany. The importation and imitation of Flemish art in Spain was encouraged by Queen Isabella, who ruled the Spanish states of Aragon and Castile with her husband, King Ferdinand, from 1474 until her death in 1504.

These panels are part of The Samuel H. Kress Collection, an important gift of medieval and Renaissance works donated to the UAMA in the early 1960s.