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Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, (1571 – 1610)  Saint Francis in Prayer   Oil on canvas, c. 1606  130 cm × 98 cm (51 in × 39 in)  Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome, Italy
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Title: St Francis in Prayer
Description:

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, (1571 – 1610)
Saint Francis in Prayer
Oil on canvas, c. 1606
130 cm × 98 cm (51 in × 39 in)
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome, Italy

Saint Francis in Prayer (c. 1602-1604) is a painting the Italian master Caravaggio, in the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica in Rome.

The painting is unrecorded and therefore difficult to date, or even to distinguish the original later copies. John Gash (see references, below) identifies a version in the Chiesa dei Cappuccini as a good copy of a lost original identified by some scholars with a painting in the Church of San Pietro, Carpineto Romano (Museo di Palazzo Venezia). Helen Langdon, treating the same painting in her biography Caravaggio, refers to the version in Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, in the Palazzo Barberini. St Francis's life of poverty and humility was a popular subject in Caravaggio's age. Peter Robb makes the point that St Francis of Assisi, together with John the Baptist and St Jerome, "...make up the trio of alienated males, young, mature and old, brooding and remote human society, that M (i.e. Caravaggio) painted again and again", becoming, in effect, private icons for Caravaggio’s own troubled life.

In the course of a libel trial in 1603 Caravaggio’s friend Orazio Gentileschi stated that he had lent the artist a monk's robe several months before, and this painting could be connected. Gentileschi’s evidence seems to be the main argument behind a 1602/1604 date; but Robb, on the grounds of the austere approach and less painterly technique of the work, believes that it may date 1606, when Caravaggio had fled Rome as an outlaw following a death in a street brawl.

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Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, (1571 – 1610)  Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto  Oil on plaster ceiling, c. 1597  300 cm × 180 cm (120 in × 71 in)  Villa Ludovisi, Rome, ItalyMichelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, (1571 – 1610)  Saint Francis in Prayer   Oil on canvas, c. 1606  130 cm × 98 cm (51 in × 39 in)  Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome, ItalyMichelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, (1571 – 1610)  The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist  Oil on canvas, 1608  361 cm × 520 cm (142 in × 205 in)  St. John's Co-Cathedral, Valletta, Malta
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