Skip to main content
Saint Francis
Carlo Crivelli
/

This praying saint comes from the upper tier of a large polyptych (multi-panelled altarpiece) which Crivelli painted in 1476 for the high altar of the church of San Domenico, in Ascoli Piceno in the Italian Marche. This is Saint Francis, founder of the Franciscan Order – friars who lived in towns and cities to provide educated preachers and teachers for a growing urban population.

The austere grey of his habit with its crisp, deep folds forms a striking contrast to the glittering damask patterns tooled into the gilded background. Crivelli was skilled at exploiting the optical effects of the different gold surfaces, which would have flickered and shone in the candlelight of a medieval church, making the smooth gold and raised decoration of Francis’s halo act as a spotlight on his head.

Key facts
Artist Carlo Crivelli
Artist dates about 1430/5 - about 1494
Full title Saint Francis
Group The Demidoff Altarpiece
Date made 1476
Medium and support Tempera on poplar
Dimensions 61 x 39.5 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1868
Inventory number NG788.6
Location in Gallery Room 57
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

License this image

License and download a high resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo

The Demidoff Altarpiece

/

Crivelli painted two altarpieces for the small church of San Domenico, in the town of Ascoli Piceno in the Italian Marche. Their history is complex and intertwined. A large, double-tiered polyptych (a multi-panelled altarpiece) sat on the high altar, while a smaller altarpiece was in a side chapel.

In the nineteenth century parts of both altarpieces were sold to a Russian prince, Anatole Demidoff, who mounted them in a grand frame to make a three-tiered altarpiece for the chapel of his villa in Florence. The whole complex is now known as the Demidoff Altarpiece.

The National Gallery bought the Demidoff Altarpiece in 1868, and in 1961 the panels from the smaller polyptych were removed. They are now displayed separately.

;