Lonely Planet review for Museu Diocesà
Opened in 2007 in its magnificent new home of the Palau Episcopal (bishop’s residence), the Museu Diocesà, behind the cathedral to the east, is a fascinating excursion for those interested in Mallorca’s Christian artistic history.
The first thing you see upon entering is a mind-boggling retaule (retablo in Spanish, an altarpiece) depicting the Passion of Christ (c 1290–1305) and taken from the Convent de Santa Clara. The episodes are shown with effusive detail: Palm Sunday, the Last Supper, St Peter’s kiss of betrayal. Christ flailed looks utterly unperturbed, while the image of his being nailed to the cross is unsettling. Off to the right, a key work is Francesc Comes’ St Jaume de Compostela (St James, known to the Spaniards as the Moor-slayer). Pere Niçard’s Sant Jordi (St George), done around 1468–70, is remarkable for its busy detail. The City of Mallorca (Palma) is shown in the background as St George despatches the dragon. Below this painting is a scene by Niçard and his boss Rafel Mòger depicting the 1229 taking of Palma. The final room in this wing is the Gothic Oratori de Sant Pau, a small chapel. The stained-glass window was a trial run done by Gaudí in preparation for the windows he did in the Catedral.
Otherwise, a succession of rooms showcases Mallorquin artists such as Pere Terrencs and Mateu López (father and son), while upstairs is a thin collection of baroque art, ceramics and some lovely views out over the bay.