RUBENS, Peter Paul
(b. 1577, Siegen, d. 1640, Antwerpen)

The Stigmatization of St Francis

c. 1616
Oil on canvas, 382 x 243 cm
Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne

This picture was commissioned for the high altar of the Capuchin Church in Cologne. The high format of the painting makes it likely to have been one panel of a fixed retable - originally an Italian feature adopted for altars north of the Alps particularly during the Baroque period. The style of the altarpiece, with its emphatic single figure, was developed further by Rubens shortly afterwards in his designs for the altarpieces of St Ignatius and St Francis Xavier for the Jesuit church in Antwerp, and was highly influential.

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