GIOTTO di Bondone
(b. 1267, Vespignano, d. 1337, Firenze)
Legend of St Francis: 14. Miracle of the Spring1297-1300
Fresco, 270 x 200 cm
Upper Church, San Francesco, Assisi
This is the fourteenth of the twenty-eight scenes (twenty-five of which were painted by Giotto) of the Legend of Saint Francis.
The farmer, to whom Francis lent his mule as a mount, was tormented by thirst. Water comes bubbling out of the rocks in answer to the Saint s prayer. Giotto shows Francis praying fervently. The farmer, almost dying of thirst, collapses at the spring. As so often in Giotto's representations, figures - here the two Franciscans - comment on the scene with their glances and so anticipate the reaction of the viewer. It is interesting to point out the amazing precision with which the ass's packsaddle has been rendered.
The earthquake of autumn 1997 badly damaged the entrance wall, upon which this fresco is situated.