The collection of works by Antoni Viladomat comprises three landscape paintings of a series of saints: Santa Maria Magdalena penitent (Penitent Saint Mary Magdalene), Santa Maria Egipcíaca al desert (Saint Mary of Egypt in the Desert) and Sant Ignasi escrivint a la Santa Cova de Manresa amb Montserrat al fons (Saint Ignatius writing in the Holy Cave of Manresa with Montserrat in the background).
They are characterised by the protagonist occupying the foreground, in an open composition of the figure on one side against a background depicting a landscape scene, like an idealised spiritual retreat in the landscape or a window for reflection and meditation. According to legend, this is the cave by the Cardener river where Saint Ignatius of Loyola had mystical and spiritual experiences that inspired him to write his major work. Spiritual Exercises, after his pilgrimage to Montserrat in 1522. At the end of the 16th century, interest for Ignatian sites emerged and people began to worship the cave, following the vestiges and legends surrounding his figure and the search for spiritual callings. Antoni Viladomat’s relationship with Mataró dates back to his marriage to a niece of the great merchant Josep Esmandia Milans. Here, among other commissions, he painted the Chapel of Els Dolors in the Basilica of Santa Maria, one of the most important examples of the work of the artist and of art of the Baroque period in Catalonia.

Year 1700 - 1720

Oil on canvas

57x180 cm

Antoni Viladomat, 1678 - 1755