Stigmatizzazione di San Francesco (1767-1769)

Tiepolo, Giambattista (1696-1770)

Stigmatizzazione di San Francesco (Stigmatization of Saint Francis)
Oil on canvas, 278 x 153 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

A depiction of a miracle in the life of Saint Francis of Assisi that took place in 1224 during the Celebration in Praise of the Holy Cross. When the saint withdrew to pray, he received the stigmata from a seraph: the same wounds suffered by Christ on the Cross. An angel holds him so that his body doesn’t collapse in ecstasy. The varied blue tones and their contrast with the very dark palette used for both the landscape and the saint’s habit help to create an unreal atmosphere that heightens the supernatural character of this miracle. This canvas was one of a set made for the Convent Church of San Pascual in Aranjuez. The sketch for this work is in the galleries of the Courtauld Institute in London. (MNP)