Master of Saint Francis: Saint James Minor

It was initially a piece at the back of an altarpiece. When putting together with another related panel, it would reveal John the evangelist and James minor beneath a colonnade. The addition of Saint Francis would have made a specific meaning for Franciscans who thought of him as their founder and the apostle number thirteen. These panels were only able to be seen by the monks that usually sat in the church’s singing group behind the altar. This panel was part of a more than eleven feet long altarpiece. It is one of the most significant altarpieces created in Italy during the thirteenth century. The two pieces of the arcade together with those of the rest of the ten apostles and of Saint Francis possibly fringed a main image of the child and the virgin (White, 165).

The arcade was modelled by the artist bearing in mind the dressing style of the Romans preceding the early Christian casket extracted in the year 1262. The cist with marble was used again to bury Blessed Egido, Saint Francis’s colleague, in the tomb of San Francesco church in the location of Perugia. There is a high possibility that these panels were formally within the same church placed directly overhead the cascade of Egido (White, 170).

As put to record by Bonaventura together with Thomas of Celano, Saint Francis’ legend is a theme of a cycle of twenty-eight paintings in the Basilica di Francesco in Assisi in the upper church. The painting was done between the years 1297 and 1300, which was approximately a similar period whereby master Giotto’s Florentine painted the transept walls.The legend originally attributed to Giotto di Bondone has brought conflicts between many historians of art as from the year 1912. It is around the year 1800 that the recorded writings of the accounts of the monastery were destroyed. Tradition has given Giotto the credit of being a painter with originality and naturalistic nature for designing the art.

During the creation of this art, a Roman active school of fresco painters, whose way of art was more truthful than the Tuscany, Byzantian imagery as characterised in Duccio and Cimabue’s work. The best-established master of art was the Roman school of Pietro Cavallini (Gordon, 135). Nevertheless, there is a small number of frescoes that are present from this time. Frescoes were destroyed as the churches were being immoderately transformed in the centuries that followed.

It is highly imagined that there exist at least three artists that did the upper church frescoes. For example, the master of the Obsequies of Cecilia and Saint Francis the Master of Legend of Saint Francis who is possibly the director and the main painter of the circle. Some of the art historians keep on being supportive of Giotto’s workshop and his composition.

The feature of the Master of Saint Francis, who was supposedly taught in Umbria, are of vivid colour, energetic and shows the effort to get hold of the state of mind of the figures and the character represented therein. The characters depict themselves with stylish gestures. As Luigi Coletti perceived, the painting contains the firmness of bronze and dramatic pressure that have been mixed and dissolved in an arrangement of gentler pulses by masses focused on the foreground with a variety of colours to take in the chiaroscuro in faint pearl accord. Tries have been made to bring out the Master of Saint Francis to be a form of humourist that enhanced Byzantine art’s formulae to show a sturdier way of expression for the characters he made. However, the heritages of this unknown master are to be looked for not in depth in the likened Byzantium culture.

A vivid indication of the final influence is depicted by the stained window of the glass of San Francesco upper church,  whereby huge quatrefoils were discovered by transalpine artists, who supposedly came from south France. Apart from that, the Master of Saint Francis can be known in the forms of the different sides. Some of the openings of the nave, like Saint Thomas’ stories which have twofold workshops that happened to have worked together. The implementation of this works is dated differently (Halpine, 27). As seen from a literary point of view, it is recommended that a stage is not as developed the crucifix. It can be presumed that the artist’s career started at Assisi. The supporters of local art and masters that were active in the basilica, he made illuminated scripts as well.

Saint James manor is among the vague of the disciples of Jesus. He is normally known as the son of Alphaeus (Halpine, 22). He is said to have been the initial bishop of Jerusalem and that he was murdered by a mass having the wooden club used in cloth softening. Thus, Saint James’ position with his right arm enfolded in a ribbon of cloth as motivated by figures ornamenting a primary Christian sarcophagus that was initially kept in the similar church as the portrait. The painter’s name may be anonymous but is regarded as one of the leading artists during his time.




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