the Ascension,15th century. First third
Tempera on panel. 122 x 62,5 cm
From surviving agreements and wills, and the few works attributable to him, we know Nicolás Solana was active between 1401 and 1441. Trained in the circle of painter Juan de Levi, one of the maestros of 15th-century Aragonese painting, Solana created a style involving expressive characters in theatrical poses in complex arrangements.
The Ascension and Noli me tangere (oil on panel, 123 x 64.5 cm each one) are two scenes from what must have been a retable dedicated to the life or passion of Christ. They became part of the Museum Collection in 1927, when the Museum received the Laureano de Jado bequest. During restoration, several tests were performed on the works, including X-rays, infrared reflectography and micro-chemical pigment and binder analysis, to find out more about the artist's technique and media. They were also useful in deciding the most suitable treatments for works like this, which, given their age and type, are usually highly complex objects to restore.
The paint was consolidated at a number of points and layers of dirt and oxidized varnishes, added in previous restoration work, were cleaned from the surface layer. Some retouches were removed so the original could be restored in the present state. To finish, colour gaps were filled in and a final protective varnish added.