(b. ca. 1240, Firenze, d. ca. 1302, Firenze)

Crossing vault

Upper Church, San Francesco, Assisi

This photograph was taken before to the 1997 earthquake.

The four vault cells, of which the eastern one was destroyed by the earthquake, contain depictions of the evangelists, as was common in the crossing vaults of medieval churches. Borders with double vines, which grow out of vases borne by angels and wrap around heads of putti at regular intervals, line the individual picture fields. The evangelists: St Luke (west vault cell), St John (north cell), St Matthew (east cell) and St Mark (south cell).

Either writing or absorbed in scripture, the evangelists occupy one half of each triangular field; a table writing desk is in the middle; and a view of a city is in the other half. In the pinnacle of each vault cell is a patch of cloud from which an angel descends and, as a visual sign of divine inspiration, touches the ear of the evangelist. The cities depicted represent, or once represented, the parts of the world to which each evangelist directed his message: YTALIA, ACCHAIA, ASIA, IUDEA.