Paintings | 16th Century | Guido Reni | St. Francis Praying to the Crucifix | Artwork profile

69 cm x 82,5 cm
Oil on canvas



St. Francis Praying to the Crucifix

Guido Reni

The subject
This work by Reni portrays St. Francis of Assisi in the act of worshipping the Crucifix. Due to its lack of the iconographic attributes normally associated with the Saint from Assisi, such as the skull and stigmata (specific details of a iconographic version of St. Francis who is more mature and aware and participates in the suffering of Christ), we can speculate that the artist wanted to depict a young, newly converted Francis in the act of worshipping Christ. A divine light falls diagonally across him from behind, a sort of initiation of his apostolic mission and the greatness to which he was destined.

The painting

The work has been attributed to Guido Reni by Stephen Pepper who also highlights the presence of other similar versions that were definitely completed by the Bolognese master.

Given the presence of several references to the stylistic features of Calvert, Reni’s first master in Bologna, this work can be dated to the period prior to the artist’s maturity, somewhere between the late 16th and early 17th centuries.