St. Francis

Abstract
This statue of St. Francis is located in the 16th-century Chapel of St. Francis in the Church of Santa Caterina, in Galatina. The statue sits in a niche surrounded by scenes from the life of St. Francis on the chapel wall. Immediately on either side of the statue are images of Saint Clare and Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. This dramatic composition shows the saint leaning into his left side, his right foot pointedly extended towards the base of the sculpture, and his right hand clutched over the gaping wound in his side. His turned head and downward gaze towards the broken arbor vitae held in his left hand indicate that we've caught him in a moment of private contemplation. The composition is typical of the stylized pathos associated with Counter-Reformation art, and for this reason it has been attributed to a late-16th century imitator of Stefano da Putignano, but the expert in Stefano's oeuvre, Prof. Clara Gelao, as reconsidered the attribution in her 2020 book and argued that because of the ""hyperrealism"" of the face, incised parallel curls, the sculpted veins in the hands and feet, all of which she identifies as characteristic of the artist. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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