Saint Francis of Assisi

Antoniazzo Romano (Antonio di Benedetto Aquilio) Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 609

Set against a black background with the signs of the stigmata (Christ’s wounds from the Crucifixion) prominently displayed on his hands and abdomen, Saint Francis appears about to speak. The sound of worship, often evoked this way in devotional painting, could prove powerful in stimulating prayer or song and was a key element of many altarpieces.

This single-panel altarpiece, atypical in size and in its isolation of Saint Francis in space, signals Antoniazzo’s interest in taking inspiration from older, venerated paintings. It was made for Clemente Brigante Colonna’s chapel in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, Tivoli, and reflects his particular devotion to Saint Francis.

Saint Francis of Assisi, Antoniazzo Romano (Antonio di Benedetto Aquilio) (Italian, Rome 1435/40–1508 Rome), Tempera and gold on wood, transferred to wood

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