Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Manchester: St Francis

BELLINI, Giovanni
(b. ca. 1426, Venezia, d. 1516, Venezia)
St Francis in Ecstasy
Oil on panel, 120 x 137 cm
Frick Collection, New York

Influenced by Flemish painting, St Francis stands in the midst of a landscape which is replete with the complex symbolic allusions of Flemish art - plants, animals, and household objects alluding to Franciscan ideals of poverty and humility.

Resembling a stigmatisation, this scene may be, rather, a meditation on Francis identification with creation

This painting was in private hands and exhibited at the Manchester Exhibition in 1857. Now it is in the Frick Collection in New York City.

One wonders at its effect on the people who came to see the Manchester Exhibition in 1857.