Back of the frame
© J. Muñiz  CC-BY-NC-ND


The shape of the altarpiece is an inverted "T", though, in this altarpiece, the centre section is much higher than usual. The perimeter of the frame is made up of panels with carved edges forming the frame. These were assembled and dovetailed together to form the main body. The rear is made up of seven panels placed horizontally, some of which are joined together using loose tenon butt joints while others use double rabbet butt joints. The back of the altarpiece is additionally reinforced with vertical crossbeams attached to the rest of the frame by dowels and fabric. The inner space on the altarpiece is articulated around canopies comprising several glued pieces decorated with gilt wooden stars.

Reliefs and figures made from walnut* were carved from either one or several pieces and joined together with dowels. Their backs have been hollowed out using adzes and gouges.  

Manufacture of the wings started with shadow grooved frames with an inner crossbar separating the two panels from the shutter itself. Borders of the painted panels were then first planed to fit and then placed in the available space. Metal hinges were used to attach the panel-painted wings to the altarpiece.

*Larco Chemical Report (Enrique Parra): Chemical Analysis of the Polychrome Decoration of the Saldaña Altarpiece in the Convent of Santa Clara in Tordesillas, Valladolid. 2013. AOR Report (Artes y Oficios de Restauración): Restoration of Movable Historic Property Pertaining to the Monastery of Tordesillas. Intervention Report. 2012. Cultural heritage Archives.