San Francesco riceve le stimmate (c.1445-1450)

Domenico Veneziano (c.1410-1461)

San Francesco riceve le stimmate (Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata)
Tempera on poplar panel, 27.5 x 30.5 cm
National Gallery of ArtWashington

In a landscape with chiseled, rocky mountains beyond a grassy meadow and stream, two men wearing dove-gray robes react to a flame-red cross in the sky in this nearly square painting. Both men have pale skin and their hair has been cut into a ring around each head. Their loose robes are cinched at the waist, and both have bare feet. The man to our left, with hands raised, kneels with his body angled to our right, facing the red cross in the sky, in the upper right corner of the painting. He has gray or blond hair and a flat gold halo edged with red. Five thin gold lines emanate from the red cross to touch the man’s hands, feet, and the right side of his chest. There is a red spot where one gold ray touches the palm of his right hand, closer to us. The second man, to our right, sits and leans back on one hand and holds his other hand to his brow as he looks up at the cross. He has dark hair. A small book with yellow pages and a red cover sits on the grass nearby. In the background, each of the three tall, pointed mountains nearly touch the top edge of the composition, and each is a different color, with icy, pale blue to our left, shell pink at the center, and light laurel green to our right. A stream running in front of the mountains turns a corner and comes our way in the lower right corner of the panel. The green meadow has a line of dark pine green trees and bushes behind the kneeling man and along the bottom left edge of the panel, near us. Wisps of white clouds float in the violet-purple sky above. (NGA)