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Francisco de Zurbaran (November 7, 1598  August 27, 1664) Saint Francis in Meditation Oil (identified) on canvas, 16359  152 x 99 cm National Gallery, London, UK
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Title: Saint Francis in Meditation
Description:

Francisco de Zurbaran (November 7, 1598 – August 27, 1664)
Saint Francis in Meditation
Oil (identified) on canvas, 1635­9
152 x 99 cm
National Gallery, London, UK


Saint Francis of Assisi was the thirteenth-century founder of the mendicant order of Franciscans. He clasps a skull, symbolic of mortality, upon which he meditates. Evidence of the stigmata he received in emulation of Christ's wounds can be seen on his left hand. According to biographies of the saint he spent the last years of his life meditating on the sufferings of Christ, an activity encouraged by Counter-Reformation writers.

The Capuchin habit the saint wears, made of patches of coarse wool with a pointed hood and tied at the waist with a thick rope, suggests that the work was commissioned for a community of Franciscan Capuchins. On stylistic grounds Saint Francis in Meditation appears to just pre-date Zurbarn Saint Francis in Meditation, which is dated 1639.

Acquired in Spain for King Louis-Philippe; bought from the Louis-Philippe sale, London, 1853.

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Francisco de Zurbaran (November 7, 1598  August 27, 1664) Cup of Water and a Rose on a Silver Plate Oil on canvas, about 1630 21.2 x 30.1 cm National Gallery, London, UKFrancisco de Zurbaran (November 7, 1598  August 27, 1664) Saint Francis in Meditation Oil (identified) on canvas, 16359  152 x 99 cm National Gallery, London, UKFrancisco de Zurbaran (November 7, 1598  August 27, 1664) Saint Francis in Meditation Oil on canvas,  1639 162 x 137 cm National Gallery, London, UK
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