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

Legend of St Francis: 13. Institution of the Crib at Greccio

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

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

Francis had a crib built for the Christmas celebrations. At High Mass, in which he was participating as deacon, it was observed that he took a sleeping child from the crib and roused it. The representation of space is particularly impressive in this fresco. Giotto depicts the choir area behind the screen, to which the wooden cross, its back to the viewer, is attached.