(b. 1528, Verona, d. 1588, Venezia)

St Francis in Ecstasy

Oil on quatrefoil canvas, 437 x 259 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

This painting came from the ceiling of the Venetian Franciscan church of San Nicolò dei Frari, popularly known as San Nicolò della Lattuga, on whose adornment Veronese and his colleagues lavished great effort. Just as the St Sebastian became the crowning achievement of the artist's youth, this project evolved as the glory of his mature years. Beginning at the organ, it included, besides the St Francis, an eccentrically formatted Adoration of the Magi at the centre, and, at the corners, the Four Evangelists, together with St Nicholas Named Bishop of Myra near the high altar. After the suppression of the Franciscans in 1806, the church was demolished and the pictures were dispersed. The Adoration of the Magi now grace the ceiling of the rebuilt Rosary Chapel at the Church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo. The St Francis in Ecstasy is probably the best-preserved section of the mutilated cycle.