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Sandro Botticelli, Saint Francis of Assisi with Angels

Key facts
Full title Saint Francis of Assisi with Angels
Artist Sandro Botticelli
Artist dates about 1445 - 1510
Date made about 1475-80
Medium and support Tempera and oil on wood
Dimensions 49.5 × 31.8 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1858
Inventory number NG598
Location Gallery D
Collection Main Collection
Saint Francis of Assisi with Angels
Sandro Botticelli

Saint Francis stands on a marble ledge against a golden background. He embraces a Crucifix and gazes compassionately at the tiny figure of the crucified Christ. If you look closely you can see bright red blood on Christ’s feet and his white loin cloth, where it has dripped from the wound in his side.

The saint is flanked by angels playing musical instruments, their feet supported by small clouds. His meditation on Christ’s suffering was so intense that, during a vision of Christ on the Cross, Saint Francis miraculously developed the wounds of the Crucifixion. We can see them here on his hands and feet.

The picture was once thought to be by the Florentine artist Filippino Lippi, but cleaning and restoration in 2002 revealed that it is probably an early work by his teacher, Botticelli.

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