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The Stigmatisation of Saint Francis

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You are viewing image NG4760

SASSETTA , active by 1427; died 1450

The Stigmatisation of Saint Francis

Date: 1437-44
Medium: Egg tempera on poplar
Dimensions: 87.8 x 52.5 cm
Acquisition credit: Bought with contributions from the National Art Collections Fund, Benjamin Guinness and Lord Bearsted, 1934.

These seven panels come from the back of a large two-sided polyptych made for the high altar of San Francesco, Borgo Sansepolcro and depict the life of Saint Francis, founder of the Franciscan Order, who died in 1226.

The altarpiece was commissioned in 1437 and was installed in 1444. The front, showing the Virgin and Child with saints, would have been seen by the congregation, while the back, with Saint Francis in Glory, would have been seen by the friars in the choir. The eight panels of the Life of Saint Francis which accompanied this image would also only have been seen by the friars.

All but one of the scenes is based on Saint Bonaventure's life of Saint Francis, the 'Legenda Maior'. The scenes are 'Saint Francis meets a knight poorer than himself and Saint Francis's vision of the founding of the Franciscan Order'; 'Saint Francis renounces his Earthly Father'; 'Saint Francis before the Pope: The Granting of the Indulgence of the Portiuncola'; 'Saint Francis before the Sultan'; 'The Wolf of Gubbio' (the only scene not based on the 'Legenda Maior', but on the 'Fioretti', or 'Little Flowers of Saint Francis'); 'The Stigmatisation of Saint Francis'; and 'The Funeral of Saint Francis and Verification of the Stigmata'.

The panels range between 86.4-88.4 cm high and 52-53.5 cm wide.


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This image is part of the group:

"San Sepolcro Altarpiece"

Other images in group:

Saint Francis and the Poor Knight, and Francis's Vision
Saint Francis renounces his Earthly Father
Saint Francis before Pope Honorius III
The Stigmatisation of Saint Francis
Saint Francis before the Sultan
The Wolf of Gubbio
The Funeral of Saint Francis