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Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata
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Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata


Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description In 1226, St. Francis of Assisi had a vision of a seraph (the highest order of angels) with an image of the crucified Christ amid its six wings, from which he miraculously received the stigmata - the wounds inflicted upon Christ during the Crucifixion. El Greco depicts the wounds on Francis's elegant hands, and the saint's transfixed gaze conveys the spiritual impact of the experience. The absence of setting, the brilliance of the apparition, and the elongation of the figure contribute to an other-worldly effect. This is accentuated by the white paint and loose brushstrokes, which suggest rather than define the forms and which the artist learned in Venice before settling in Spain. The effect is magnified by the contrast of what appears to be a real piece of paper, stuck to the canvas and bearing the words "Domenikos Theotokopoulos Made This" in Greek, expressing El Greco's pride in his origins. The miraculous vision was a favorite subject of El Greco's, and he, himself a lay Franciscan, created a quintessential expression of the mystical and emotional spirituality of the contemporary Counter-Reformation movement.
Conservation
Date Description Narrative
12/31/1969Examinationexamined for condition
3/01/1951Treatmentcleaned; infrared spectroscopy; inpainted; loss compensation; re-framed; x-ray
7/19/1984Examinationexamined for loan
8/01/1986Treatmentcoated; examined for loan; filled; inpainted; surface cleaned
7/13/1988Examinationexamined for condition
Exhibitions
  • God's Minstrel: St. Francis of Assisi. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1982.
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome [no. 351]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Signature] On cartellino, lower right: Domenikos Theotolopoulos e poiei
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902

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Creator
Period
1585-1590 (Renaissance)
Medium
oil on canvas
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
37.424
Measurements
H: 40 3/16 x W: 38 3/16 x D: 1 5/16 in. (102 x 97 x 3.4 cm); Framed without buildup H: 52 5/8 x W: 49 1/2 x D: 3 3/4 in. (133.6 x 125.7 x 9.5 cm)
Geographies
  • Spain (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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