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

Franciscan Allegories: Allegory of Chastity

c. 1320
Lower Church, San Francesco, Assisi

In a well-fortified castle, Chastity rules: only angels can enter here. In order to reach her, a long path must be followed. The representatives of the three divisions of the Franciscan order (a lay brother, a Franciscan and aClare) have climbed the hill. They too, as the middle scene shows, will be washed and dressed by angels. On the other side the extremely vivid and bizarre figures of demons are being cast into the abyss. They are Unchasteness (Immunditia) with the boar's head, Burning Desire (Ardor) with the flaming head, and Love (Amor) with the clawed feet and the hearts tied around him. The round is completed by the spider-legged, devilish Death (Mors).