Il perdono di S. Francesco d´Assisi (The Pardon of St Francis)

Federico Barocci

Federico Barocci - Il perdono di S. Francesco d´Assisi (The Pardon of St Francis)
The print faithfully reproduces Barocci’s painting made in 1574–1576 for the high altar of the Church of St. Francis in Urbino, the artist’s native town. Jesus Christ appeared to the saint praying for indulgences for all penitents who would pay a visit to the Chapel Santa Maria degli Angeli in Porziuncola near Assisi. This is where Saint Francis retired after relinquishing his secular life. With his own hands, he repaired the chapel which he regarded as the cradle – a holy site – of the Order of the Friars Minorite. The chapel is shown through an opening in the background of the scene. Portrayed in the composition’s upper area are the Virgin Mary interceding for Saint Francis and Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of the client who commissioned the painting. The inscription at the bottom of the plate contains a promise of indulgences. The importance of indulgences increased under Pope Pius V, a Franciscan (1566–1572), who initiated the construction of a large church around this originally small chapel. The dissemination of this print was indisputably intended to endorse the veneration of the sacred site. Although Barocci was only briefly engaged in printmaking, he achieved a high level of skill in this field. In order to render strong dark shades, he etched the plate twice and then engraved the details and the insufficiently etched areas.
measurements: height 533 mm
width 319 mm
in collections:
material: paper
technique: etching and engraving
inventory number: R 981
gallery collection: Collection of Prints and Drawings