Basilica of St Francis Assisi

The Basilica of St Francis in Assisi

  1. Edited by Gianfranco Malafarina
  2. Introduction by Chiara Frugoni
  • ISBN 9780500517680
  • 30.00 x 29.60 cm
  • Hardback
  • 324pp
  • 335 Illustrations, 335 in colour
  • First published 2014

Founded in 1228, the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi is the burial place of the well-known saint and the mother church of the Franciscan order of monks. It is also a treasure house of art, decorated with monumental frescoes by some of the greatest painters of the 13th and 14th centuries.

St Francis Basilica

‘Brings these works into closer focus that could ever been seen by the naked eye’ – Art Newspaper

This book takes its readers on a guided tour of this magnificent complex, aided by a wealth of beautiful photographs. Rarely seen details allow the personal imprints of the artists to shine through, and demonstrate that beyond their diversity of styles, they were all united by a desire to mirror reality while maintaining a sense of the spiritual and the sublime. This unmatched artistic heritage marks a revolutionary era in the flowering of Italian art.

The Upper Church is perhaps most famed for its sequence of frescoes that celebrate the life and teachings of St Francis, attributed to Giotto and his workshop, while Cimabue and his followers were responsible for a series of dramatic scenes from the Old and New Testaments. The Lower Church, meanwhile, has been expanded through the addition of several magnificent chapels; their titular saints are commemorated with great imagination and immediacy in works by artists including Simone Martini and Pietro Lorenzetti.

Gianfranco Malafarina is a noted art historian, and has written widely on Italian art. Among his previous
books are volumes on Modena Cathedral and St Peter’s Basilica, Rome.
Chiara Frugoni is former Professor of Medieval Art History at the Universities of Pisa and Rome.