This painting was performed by the Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, and it’s located in Wadsworth Atheneum, Connecticut, United States of America.
Saint Francis of Assisi is shown in a state of ecstasy, at the moment of receiving the signs of the stigmata, the wounds left in Christ’s body by the Crucifixion. Franciscan tradition sustains that in 1224, St Francis retired to the wilderness with brother Leo. A six-winged seraph (one of the higher orders of angels) came down to St Francis in answer to the saint’s prayer that he might know both Christ’s suffering and His love.
This work was commissioned by Cardinal Francesco del Monte, to celebrate his ascension to this high service. In this scene, st Francis has just received the stigmata, and an angel is holding him.
The painting was the first of Caravaggio’s religious canvasses, and is thought to date from 1595, when he had recently entered the household of Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte.
(Oil on canvas, 1595)