Critical Analysis of "The Stigmata of Saint Francis"

Art analysis


The painting "The Stigmata of Saint Francis" is a very surprising work of art because of three features: Saint Francis' appearance, expression of emotion, and Jesus' position. The Painting is done by the hand of Bartolomeo Della Gatta. It is tempera on wood painting and was finished in 1487. The painting is currently located at the Pinacoteca Comunale, Castiglion Fiorentino (Metropolitan museum, Castiglione). Bartolomeo was an abbot at the convent of Saint Maria. Along with being an artist, he was also a an architect and miniaturist.

"The Stigmata of Saint Francis" is a very surprising work of art mainly because of the way Saint Francis is standing in the painting. He is standing on only a few toes, which is surprising because he is receiving the stigmata, a very painful set of wounds resembling the crucifixion. With the excruciating pain from the wounds, Saint francis would be in a more staggered, balanced position.

The painting also fails to show the emotion of Saint Francis. When someone receives the stigmata, they are overwhelmed with emotion. The story behind the painting describes Saint Francis of being overwhelmed with different emotions when he received the marks on mount La Verna during a forty day fast. The painting depicts Saint Francis with a straight face looking up at Jesus, not showing even the slightest bit of any emotion.

Another very surprising aspect of the painting is the importance and misinterpretation Jesus has in the piece of art. He is depicted in the very top of the painting, partially cut off from the head up. Jesus should be shown in more prominence because the wounds are from the Lord Himself. Another very surpising aspect of Jesus is the way he is portrayed. The stories of Saint Francis’ stigmata tell that Francis saw a six winged angel, or Seraphim, that was crucified. The painting only shows Jesus, excluding a major aspect of the history.

The painting "The Stigmata of Saint Francis"...