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

Apocalyptic Christ

c. 1320
Fresco
Lower Church, San Francesco, Assisi

The four fields in the crossing vault of the lower church are framed by broad, heavily ornamented borders with diamond-shaped, small format picture fields, all filled with motifs from the Apocalypse. The focus of this subsidiary pictorial program, which was probably inspired by Bonaventura's interpretation of St Francis as the angel of the sixth seal, is the Apocalyptic Christ in the capstone of the crossing vault, from whose mouth two swords emerge and whose head, with sweeping white hair, bears a crown. In his right hand he holds the book of divine wisdom with seven seals, toward which the Lamb of God is approaching from the side; in his right hand he is raising a double-bit key.

Above Christ, the Lamb of God (at left), and the Arc of the Covenant (at right) are depicted.