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

Legend of St Francis: 1. Homage of a Simple Man

Fresco, 270 x 230 cm
Upper Church, San Francesco, Assisi

This is the first of the twenty-eight scenes (twenty-five of which were painted by Giotto) of the Legend of Saint Francis but this was painted probably last.

A simple man spreads out his cloak before the young nobleman. He alone recognizes that Francis deserves such an honour. While Francis receives the tribute with a terse gesture, the other bystanders react with a lack of understanding. The scene of the action is clearly established, for the temple, which marks the distance between the main protagonists, is the Minerva Temple in Assisi, which can still be seen today.