Saint Francis of Assisi with Angels

Saint Francis of Assisi (about 1181 - 1226), founder of the Franciscan order, is shown contemplating a crucifix. His meditations on Christ's suffering on the cross were so intense that Christ's wounds, known as the stigmata, were miraculously transferred to his body during one of his visions. The stigmata can be seen in his side, hands and feet.

Words from a hymn to Saint Francis, and the date 1492, were once written along the lower edge. The painting has recently been attributed to Botticelli. The simple, devout style of the painting, with the figure silhouetted against a gold background is in imitation of much earlier pictures. The painting is interesting evidence of a Franciscan commission from Botticelli's workshop, despite the Dominican sympathies of the master.

Key facts

Artist dates
about 1445 - 1510
Full title
Saint Francis of Assisi with Angels
Date made
about 1475-80
Medium and support
Tempera and oil on wood
49.5 x 31.8 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1858
Inventory number
Location in Gallery

Further information

In depth