GIOTTO di Bondone
(b. 1267, Vespignano, d. 1337, Firenze)
Legend of St Francis: 4. Miracle of the Crucifix1297-99
Fresco, 270 x 230 cm
Upper Church, San Francesco, Assisi
This is the fourth of the twenty-eight scenes (twenty-five of which were painted by Giotto) of theLegend of Saint Francis.
According to the legend, the image in the church of San Damiano spoke to the young nobleman: "Francis, go and restore my house, which is in danger of collapsing". Giotto pictures Francis in a half ruined church, where the saint kneels before the painted crucifix, his arms raised in fright. This lively reaction and the perspectival structure make the events in the picture particularly vivid and intelligible.