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2 / Dreams and Visions

St. Francis of Assisi
St. Francis of Assisi
Artist / Origin Francisco de Zurbaràn (Spanish, 1598–1644)
Region: Europe
Date ca. 1640
Material Oil on canvas
Medium: Painting
Dimensions H: 81 ½ in. (207 cm.), W: 42 in. (106 cm.)
Location Museu de Arte de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
Credit Courtesy of Bridgeman Art Library

expert perspective

Edward J. SullivanProfessor of Fine Arts, New York University

St. Francis of Assisi

» Francisco de Zurbaràn (Spanish, 1598–1644)

expert perspective

Edward J. Sullivan Edward J. Sullivan Professor of Fine Arts, New York University

The Spanish seventeenth century, of course, is a period when religious fervor was very strong, and many of these artists who are working for religious institutions are often charged to—or of their own volition, of their own interest—create images of saints in ecstasy. And one of the more sober formats was developed by the painter Francisco de Zurbaràn, who did many, many saints in ecstasy, and I think that his favorite was Saint Francis, wearing his brown hooded robe. And very often Zurbaràn portrays Saint Francis standing alone on a ground completely isolated and inwardly directed, prayerful, whereas other artists they take their figures and they fly them up into the heavens and surround them by angels and create this sense of almost orgiastic ecstasy.” 

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