Our Lady of the Sunsets by Lorenzetti
Lower Basilica of St Francis, in Assisi Italy 1310–1329
Lorenzetti’s most ambitious work is the Passion fresco cycle in the left transept of the Lower Church of San Francesco in Assisi. These seventeen well-preserved frescoes – the highpoint of his early career – show the influence of Giotto. The conditions for the execution of the frescoes would have been difficult as very little natural light would be available and the lower church would be near darkness. The exact time line of the frescoes is in question; some scholars believed the cycle was painted in sections over several years.
This scene, Madonna of the Sunsets below the Crucifixion, represents the Virgin holding the Child, Saint John the Evangelist, and Saint Francis. Mary has a unique gesture, holding her thumb up pointing back to Saint Francis, raising his hand to accept his calling.