(b. 1571, Caravaggio, d. 1610, Porto Ercole)
St Francis in Ecstasy (detail)c. 1595
Oil on canvas
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford
The angel comes from the same repertoire as the early pictures of boys. As Cupid, he is familiar from the New York Musicians. In the St Francis scene he forms part of an arrangement set against an almost black background, which may well have been painted direct from life and transmutes the spirit of pictures of boys into the sphere of sacred art.