Stigmatization of St. Francis - Giotto di Bondone. 314 x 162 cm.
The theme of stigmatization of St. Francis of Assisi was repeatedly repeated in the works of Giotto. According to legend, on the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross of the Lord the saint prayed fervently, after which a six-winged seraph of fire appeared to him, in which was the image of the crucified Christ. The saint felt holy ecstasy along with severe pain in his arms, legs and body. Looking around them, he saw large nails piercing his body, and trickles of flowing blood - all exactly the same as the crucified Jesus.
By his great desire and passionate prayer, Francis was granted mercy to experience the suffering endured by Jesus on the cross. He told the brethren that after death, the Lord allowed him to come to purgatory on the date of his departure from life and take from there the souls of his brothers and other faithful people.
The painting captures the moment the saints received the stigmata - the symbols of his deepest faith. Saint Francis is depicted kneeling, in the poor brown cassock of his mendicant order, belted with a simple rope. The seraph, who is also the image of the crucified Jesus Christ, soars above him. From the miraculous phenomenon emanate the finest golden rays that pierce the body of Francis, creating stigmata on it.
Behind the back of the saint is the high mountain of Alverno with several trees growing on it, as well as the small stone cells of his monastery. He is kneeling on a bare rock, and the whole composition is built on diagonal lines to give the static scene a bit of dynamics. Francis' raised hands, six-winged scarlet seraph and the general golden gamma of the image give the picture solemnity, brightness and festivity.
On the altar icon created for the church of St. Francesco in Pisa, with a signature, there are images of two emblems of aristocratic families, obviously, customers of the work, and a predella with three scenes from the life of the saint.