GIOTTO di Bondone
(b. 1267, Vespignano, d. 1337, Firenze)

Stigmatization of St Francis

Tempera on wood, 314 x 162 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

This painting was made for the Church of San Francesco in Pisa. The main scene and the three smaller scenes of the predella - Dream of Innocent III, the Confirmation of the Rule, and the Sermon to the Birds - are variations on the theme of the Assisi frescoes.

The exceptional vertical format of this panel, in which the towering rock narrows the scope of the action, is striking. The kneeling saint seems startled and raises his hands. Christ appears to him, enveloped by angels' wings. The intense gaze between the two figures seems to allow the message that Francis has completely taken Christ to himself and then received the stigmata to take physical shape.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 33 minutes):
Michael Haydn: St Francis Mass