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Giotto di Bondone (c. 1267  January 8, 1337)  View of the interior towards the altar  Upper Church, San Francesco, Assisi, Italy
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Giotto di Bondone (c. 1267 January 8, 1337)
View of the interior towards the altar
Upper Church, San Francesco, Assisi, Italy

Not long after the completion of the upper wall surfaces and of the vault in the Upper Church of San Francesco in Assist, work would have begun on the lower walls of the nave. At the request of the order, something was to be realized here which had never before been attempted in such a fashion - the history and progress of the great saint and founder of the order, whom the old people of the area might still be able to remember as a living person, were to be brought to the attention of the faithful in the form of a frieze. The intention was to develop a pictorial version of the life story of the saint, which would then act as the model for all further representations.

The patrons recognized Giotto as the artist best suited to this unique undertaking. This cycle of pictures has occupied generations of art historians. The questions of dating - whether they were painted shortly before or shortly after the first Holy Year of 1300 - and of authorship were judged particularly controversial. In the latter case, attributions veer between a Roman artist, Cavallini, and the Florentine artist, Giotto.

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Giotto di Bondone (c. 1267  January 8, 1337)  Panoramic view of the frescoes  Fresco, 1320-40  Lower Church, San Francesco, Assisi, ItalyGiotto di Bondone (c. 1267  January 8, 1337)  View of the interior towards the altar  Upper Church, San Francesco, Assisi, ItalyGiotto di Bondone (c. 1267  January 8, 1337)  Frescoes in the fourth bay of the nave  Fresco, 1290s  Upper Church, San Francesco, Assisi, Italy
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