Description In 1224, on the mountainside of La Verna in the Apennine Mountains of Italy, Saint Francis of Assisi was meditating on the sufferings of Christ when a seraph (a six-winged angel of the highest order) appeared to him in a vision of light. Afterwards, he found his hands, feet, and side marked with the wounds of Christ—the stigmata. The miracle is shown here as witnessed by Saint Francis's companion, Brother Leo. To remind the viewer that Saint Francis was the founder of the Franciscan Order, the artist has transformed his rustic chapel into a grand basilica. Nevertheless, the most striking feature of the setting is the grouping of fantastical rock formations that seem to grow out of the ground. They are found in the compositions of several artists who worked in Padua, where Zoppo trained, and Venice. See for example the similar rock formations in The Departure of Queen Helen and her Party for Cythera (37.1178) painted in Venice by Dario di Giovanni who, like Zoppo, trained with the Paduan master Francesco Squarcione. This panel is part of a large altarpiece that Marco Zoppo executed in Venice in 1471 for a church in the city of Pesaro.
|1/01/1946||Examination||cleaned; examined for condition|
|7/19/1989||Examination||examined for condition; varnish removed or reduced|
- God's Minstrel: St. Francis of Assisi. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1982.
- The Allure of Bronze. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1995.
- For This is My Body: The Medieval Missal. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2006-2007.
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [1897 catalogue: no. 339]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902
Download Image Add to Collection Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Creative Commons License