GIOTTO di Bondone
(b. 1267, Vespignano, d. 1337, Firenze)
Franciscan Allegoriesc. 1320
Lower Church, San Francesco, Assisi
In the four compartments of the crossing vault the three Franciscan virtues Poverty, Obedience and Chastity are pictured and explained by inscriptions on the arches of the wall. Since the work and the writings of St Bonaventure, Francis has been conceived as the "angel of the sixth seal". For this reason these pictures are bound within a framework whose figurative elements allude to the Apocalypse and whose central motif is the apocalyptic Christ on the keystone of the vault.
The contents of the vault cells are the following: The Apotheosis of St Francis (west cell, at the bottom of this reproduction), Allegory of Poverty (east cell, top), Allegory of Obedience (south cell, at left), Allegory of Chastity (north cell, at right).