This is our first stop – the Church of San Fructuoso de Bierge. Although on the outside it is not the most beautiful building, the mural paintings inside are wonderful. In fact, some of them have been exhibited in the National Museum of Art of Catalonia, in New York and Canada. If you look at the crucifixion painting, you may notice something strange. Take your time to observe carefully. The Church of San Fructuoso de Bierge was built in the 13th century, and it was around the middle of that century that mural paintings began to be made. These paintings represent fragments of the lives of San Nicolás de Bari, San Juan Evangelista and San Fructuoso.
Do you notice something unusual about the artworks? Let us help you a little: If you look closely, the highest paintings in the Sanctuary are somewhat different from the ones below them. This is because two different painters, known as the first and second Masters of Bierge, created the paintings in this church. The first painted in a more archaic way, while the second painted with a Gothic-linear style and is more natural, with more movement. The painted elements are accompanied by inscriptions that identify what was painted, for example, the names of the Saints. The lineal style is remarkable for its subtlety. It is characterised, particularly in northern Spain, by undulating rhythms and a refined colour scale.