Interpreting Art

One of the famous pieces of Franciscan art can be found in the left transept of the Lower Church of San Francesco in Assisi. It is a fresco done by Pietro Lorenzetti and is one of 17 frescoes he created in the church. This fresco is located lower on the transept wall under Lorenzetti’s masterpiece, The Crucifixion. The fresco is known as Our Lady of the Sunsets.

In the scene the Virgin Marry is holding the Child Jesus. The other two figures in the fresco are St. John the Evangelist (right) and St. Francis of Assisi (left), both of whom are looking at what is unfolding in the center of the scene. There Mary and Jesus are focused on each other, and Mary has a unique gesture, holding her thumb up pointing back to Saint Francis.

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