St. Francis in the Desert (Bellini)

St. Francis in the Desert (Bellini)

Artist Giovanni Bellini

Date ca. 1480

Movement Italian Renaissance

Medium Tempera and oil on panel

Dimensions 48 x 56″

Housed at The Frick Collection, New York


Some scholars believe this painting to depict St. Francis as he receives the stigmata (wounds of Christ) or as an illustration of his Hymn of the Sun; either way, he ecstatically receives the divine light that emanates the entire scene. Further along stands a donkey, possibly a symbol of St. Francis himself, and beyond is a sumptuous Italian countryside. Bellini here combines the vibrant colors and detail achieved with the Flemish oil painting technique with the Florentine mastery of perspective.