Although born into a wealthy merchant family, St. Francis (1181-1226) rejected all wordly goods, dedicating himself to chastity, humility, and selfless acts of kindness. By the time of his death, the order of friars he founded had expanded throughout Europe.
In the summer of 1224, Francis visited a mountain retreat at La Verna near Assisi. After weeks of intense prayer, an angel on a cross appeared. The painter shows mystical rays of light emanating from the angel and leaving Francis with stigmata, wounds resembling those Christ suffered at the time of his crucifixion. Behind the saint, a follower throws up his hands in amazement.
This predella panel, which was mounted in a row of related scenes below a larger painting, retains its original frame.
Boston Foreign Art Exhibit, 1883-1884 (Handbook for Visitors) to the Hollenden Gallery of Old Masters Exhibited at the Boston Foreign Art Exhibition in 1883-1884, collected by James Jackson Jarves... and purchase by L. E. Holden of Cleveland, Ohio, 1884, no. 5, p. 8: "By Fra Angelico in his earliest manner... part of a gradino to an altar piece; heads fine, like his miniature work; perfect condition. Wood, tempera, 18 x 13 inches"
Early Italian Paintings lent by Mrs. L. E. Holden, Metropolitan Museum of Art, cat. Met. Mus. Bulletin, VII (October, 1912) p. 176, no. 7 (as Florentine, mid XV century); (Bryson Burroughs)
Inaugural Exhibition, CMA, 1916, 1936, cat. no. 89 (Florentine, early XV century)
Gothic Art, 1360-1440, CMA, 1963, catalogue CMA Bulletin (Sept. 1963) no. 78, repr. p. 183.
Fliegel, Stephen N. The Caporali Missal: A Masterpiece of Renaissance Illumination. Published on the occasion of the exhibition "The Caporali Missal: A Masterpiece of Renaissance Illumination" held 17 Feb to 2 June 2013 at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland: The Cleveland Museum of Art; New York: DelMonico Books, imprint of Prestel Publishing, 2013. Cat 16, pg 112-3.
The Cleveland Museum of Art (02/17/2013 - 06/02/2013): "Caporali"