Filippo Bellini, St. Francis receives the stigmata

Filippo Bellini,
St. Francis receives the stigmata

St. Francis receives the stigmata
1550-1604, canvas, 335×225 cm + frame 9 cm, Inv. n. 130

In the altar piece, which was already above the high altar in the Church of St. Francis in Faenza, the saint is portrayed kneeling and illuminated by a stream of light from above. In a setting that prefigures landscape painting, to the left is a Franciscan monk intent on reading, while in the centre some men are tending to their horses.
Filippo Bellini, a native of Urbino and artist attentive and updated on Roman painting, had works distributed throughout Marches territory but also worked in the region of Romagna.
The convincing attribution of this painting to Filippo Bellini was made by Anna Colombi Ferretti, according to whom the painting cannot have been installed in the church in Faenza before 1594, having evidently been influenced by Barocci’s famous canvas produced for the Cappuccini in Urbino, paid for in that same year. The resemblance is outstanding, yet not at all slavish. It is the sense of a large nocturnal vortex present in the Faenza work, outlined by flashes of light, with the celestial vision in the upper part (missing in the Barocci), crowded and pictorially beautiful, «that gives a measure of diversity to Bellini’s painting».

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