More specifically the portrayal of Francis at the foot of the cross became a popular iconographic theme in art of the late Middle Ages.6 As scholars have remarked, the devotional presence of Francis at the Crucifixion underlines Francis’s spiritual dedication to the Passion and the crucified Christ. In addition to images which feature Francis and the Magdalen at the Cross, further instances of the inclusion of both saints in altarpieces and devotional paintings were common throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. This chapter draws attention to several paintings which depict both saints in narrative scenes from their lives. For Francis it is the familiar scene of The Stigmatisation of St Francis and for the Magdalen the episode associated with her legendary thirty years spent in the wilderness of Southern France, traditionally identified as The Ecstasy of the Magdalen. Both subjects emphasise the two saints not in timeless attitudes of devotion to the Passion. Instead through the device of visual pairing of events from their respective vitae, these altarpieces focus the viewer’s gaze on Francis and the Magdalen as exemplars of every Christian’s desire: to achieve union with Christ.
|Title of host publication||Poverty and Devotion in Mendicant Cultures 1200-1450|
|Editors||Constant J. Mews, Anna Welch|
|Place of Publication||Abingdon Oxon UK|
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
|Name||Church Faith and Culture in the Medieval West|