Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Other Degree Name/Area of Focus

Art History

Department or School/College

School of Art

Committee Chair

H. Rafael Chacón

Commitee Members

Valerie Hedquist, Jeremy Canwell, Elizabeth Hubble


spain, spanish, altarpiece, medieval, renaissance, saint, ildefonso, ildefonsus, retable, castille


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture


The Presentation of the Chasuble to San Ildefonso is a 15th-century Spanish altarpiece panel that has been part of the Montana Museum of Art and Culture’s permanent collection since 1957. However, it was donated with little information about the artist who created it, the circumstances of its commission, the area of Spain where it originated, or its provenance from the time of its creation to the time of its donation to the University of Montana. Without research into these questions, this unique piece has not been exhibited as often as it deserves. I have explored these questions as well as analyzed the content of the altarpiece panel in the hopes of providing a fuller understanding of the piece and an appreciation of what it represents. The altarpiece depicts a significant event in the narrative of San Ildefonso, an important figure in Marian devotion in Spain. I have come to the conclusion that the altarpiece was created in Castille in the Hispano-Flemish style in the late 15th century. It was a modest commission and likely was used in a side chapel. It was eventually purchased by Antonio Gorostiza of Bilbao, Spain in the early 20th century. It was sold on the New York art market in the 1920’s or early 1930’s to Raymonde Erszanski. At the suggestion of friend and art dealer, Victor Hammer, she donated the altarpiece panel to the University of Montana as part of a large donation of various art objects from several donors. With a greater understanding of the altarpiece panel’s content, its origins, and its provenance, the panel can provide insight into the artistic and devotional practices of 15th-century Castille, Spain.



© Copyright 2018 Nikolyn Garner