Highlights of the month

The stigmatisation of St Francis

Antoine Favray (1706-1798)
Oil on canvas
89 x 117 cm
Europe Gallery – Style for Status
In Antoine Favray’s painting, St Francis of Assisi is receiving the stigmata from a rather curious looking creature. Is it an angel? Is it Christ on the cross? The earliest 13th-century pictorial representations of this event show a seraph, an angel with three pairs of wings, with outstretched arms and feet together in the form of a cross. By the end of the century, the iconography had changed to Christ on the cross, partly enveloped by wings, with rays passing down to the figure of the saint. Favray shows us that this traditional imagery persisted up to the 18th century.