UNKNOWN MASTER, Italian
(active 1280s in Assisi)
Altarpiece of St Clare1280s
Tempera on panel, 273 x 165 cm
Monastery of Santa Chiara, Assisi
St Clare (c. 1194-1253) was the founder of the second (or female) order of Franciscans known as the Poor Clares. On the altarpiece a central iconic image of the saint is flanked by eight scenes from her life. St Clare is depicted within an architectural niche, almost as if she were modeled in space, much like painted wooden figures sometimes used as the centres for elaborated multi-paneled altarpieces.