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Saint Francis and the Poor Knight, and Francis's Vision
Sassetta

This painting is one of seven panels that come from the back of a large two-sided polyptych. It was made for the high altar of San Francesco, Borgo Sansepolcro and depicts the life of Saint Francis, founder of the Franciscan Order, who died in 1226.

The altarpiece was commissioned in 1437 and was installed in 1444. The front, showing the Virgin and Child with saints, would have been seen by the congregation, while the back, with Saint Francis in Glory, would have been seen by the friars in the choir. The eight scenes from the Life of Saint Francis which accompanied this image would also only have been seen by the friars.

All but two of the scenes ('The Wolf of Gubbio' and 'The Granting of the Indulgence of the Portiuncula') of the San Sepolcro altarpiece are based on Saint Bonaventure's life of Saint Francis, the 'Legenda Maior'.

Key facts
Artist Sassetta
Artist dates active by 1427; died 1450
Full title Saint Francis meets a Knight Poorer than Himself and Saint Francis's Vision of the Founding of the Franciscan Order
Group San Sepolcro Altarpiece
Date made 1437-44
Medium and support Egg tempera on poplar
Dimensions 87 x 52.5 cm
Acquisition credit Bought with contributions from the Art Fund, Benjamin Guinness and Lord Bearsted, 1934
Inventory number NG4757
Location in Gallery Room 52
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San Sepolcro Altarpiece

This painting is one of seven panels that come from the back of a large two-sided polyptych. It was made for the high altar of San Francesco, Borgo Sansepolcro and depicts the life of Saint Francis, founder of the Franciscan Order, who died in 1226.

The altarpiece was commissioned in 1437 and was installed in 1444.

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