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

Legend of St Francis: 8. Vision of the Flaming Chariot

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

This is the eighth of the twenty-eight scenes (twenty-five of which were painted by Giotto) of the Legend of Saint Francis.

Several brothers of the order sleep in a confined architectural shelter, others stand next to it and gesticulate excitedly at the curious manifestation in the heavens: Francis, surrounded by a mandoria of golden rays, rides in a Roman chariot through the skies. The saint appears to his companions as the guide and new leader of Christianity. Giotto distinguishes the spheres of heaven and earth very clearly through his use of colour. In an impressive manner, he makes evident the visionary character of the scene.