Saint Mark Altarpiece

This ensemble presided over the Chapel of Saint Mark, which was founded in 1548 by the ambassador Martín de Salinas. The six paintings in their day were joined together in the form of an altarpiece with a crowned frame that no longer exists. They are now displayed separately in one of the arms of the transept, are all signed by the Madrid painter Francisco Solis (c. 1620-1684) and date back to approximately 1656. Saint Simon, Saint Mark and Saint Jude can all be seen in the lower part, while the upper part depicts Saint Martin parting his cloak, the Immaculate Conception and Saint Catherine of Alexandria, all of them dedications associated with the founding family of the chapel.

The paintings are early works in the oeuvre of Francisco Solís and his personal style can be discerned in all of them. Although they still display a hesitant flow, a slightly stiff brushstroke and a somewhat limited chromatic range compared to his mature works. The influence of Francisco Rizi and Juan Carreño de Miranda, as well as other masters of the Madrid school in the latter half of the 17th century, would undoubtedly provide him with more expressiveness, movement and intensity of colour.


Ficha técnica

  • Author: Francisco Solís
  • Date: c. 1656
  • Technique: Oil on canvas
  • Measurements: Simón: 124´5 x 58´4 cm; Marcos: 123 x 81 cm; Judas: 124´5 x 58´4 cm; Martín: 80 x 51 cm; Inmaculada: 81 x 81 cm; Catalina: 80 x 51 cm
  • Place: Saint Mary’s Cathedral (Vitoria-Gasteiz). Crossing

Image gallery


TABAR ANITUA, Fernando. “Obras inéditas de Francisco de Solís”, en Kultura. Cuadernos de Cultura, II, 1982, pp. 41-49.

VÉLEZ CHAURRI, José Javier, "Barroco". En: GONZÁLEZ DE SAN ROMÁN, Miguel (Dir.). Vitoria-Gasteiz en el Arte, vol. II, Vitoria: Gobierno Vasco, Diputación Foral de Álava, Ayuntamiento de Vitoria-Gasteiz, 1997, pp. 412-413.

VÉLEZ CHAURRI, José Javier; ECHEVERRÍA GOÑI, Pedro Luis, "Pintura barroca con vinculación histórica al País Vasco", En: Luces del Barroco. Pintura y Escultura del siglo XVII en España. Vitoria: Fundación Caja Vital Kutxa, 2002, p. 24.

TABAR ANITUA, Fernando, "La pintura del barroco en Euskal Herria. Arte local e importado", Ondare, 19, 2000, p. 117-149.