The Allegory of Royal Power by Pere Pau Muntanya

  • Description

At the centre of the pictorial composition of the Consular Hall, a seated matron representing royal authority is illuminated by beams of celestial light. In her left hand she holds a shield with the image in grisaille – painting in various tones of grey – of Charles III and the inscription “Carlos III rei de España y de las Yndias,” and in her right hand a key she is giving to a female figure who represents the Barcelona Board of Trade, as is indicated by the coat of arms she holds.

At the feet of Monarchy, a lion, that symbol of royal power, holds the spheres of the two worlds, alluding to Spanish dominion in the Old and New Continents. To the right of Monarchy, two figures represent prudence and clemency, two of the virtues that are supposed of a monarch.

In the lower part of the composition, Law, Truth and Justice are represented. Law holds a sceptre to which is attached a parchment with the inscription “Iubet et prohibet,” that is, “order and forbid”; Truth holds a large mirror in its hands; and Justice holds its sword and balance.

Commerce and the riches it provides is the allegory represented in the upper part of the work. On the right there is Mercury, the god of traders and travellers, with wings on his helmet and heels, holding a large horn of plenty teeming with flowers that he is scattering over Monarchy. On the left, a group of cherubs hold the caduceus and another horn of plenty, also full of flowers.

Around the central panel there is a moulding that bears, in its respective corners, pictures of the monarchs Peter III of Catalonia and IV of Aragon, John I, Martin I and Alphonse IV of Catalonia and V of Aragon, all of them kings who had a direct relationship with the Llotja and the Catalan merchant class.

Halfway along each side of the moulding there is a group formed by two cherubs: one couple holds the coat of arms of Catalonia and the other that of the cross of St. George (Sant Jordi). Beneath the coats of arms there is a frieze decorated with fronds and medallions with grisaille paintings representing Industry, Commerce and Justice.

Author's works
at the Llotja de Mar

  • The Allegory of Royal Power

    Pere Pau Muntanya 
  • The Allegory of Monarchy and Fame

    Pere Pau Muntanya 
  • The Allegory of Monarchy, Time and Life

    Pere Pau Muntanya 
  • The Board of Trade, Protector of the Port of Barcelona

    Pere Pau Muntanya