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

Allegory of Obedience (detail)

c. 1320
Lower Church, San Francesco, Assisi

Two young men, a monk of the order and a layman, will follow in the footsteps of the saint. An angel has already taken one of them by hand. Interestingly, however, it seems to be Prudence who presides over such a decision: with her dual face she sees both past and future. She holds out a mirror, as a symbol of knowledge, towards the kneeling monk, whom the young men are following, and her astrolabe stands for the wider context which she is able to recognize.