St. Francis

St. Francis

Paul Woodroffe

Photomechanical reproduction of pen and ink drawing.

4½ x 3 inches

The Little Flowers of St. Francis , pictorial frontispiece.

This illustration encapsulates the intense spirituality of Woodroffe’s art. It represents Saint Francis’s encounter with Christ who is shown as a radiant form, in the manner of a Trecento angel, as in the paintings of Duccio and Cimabue, emanating light. The saint’s epiphany is vividly conveyed in his gesture of worship and abasement, and Woodroffe deploys a conventional iconography to highlight the contrast between eternal life (with its blazing lines) and the restrictions of the earthly condition (the skull, the dead twigs, the rocky promontory).

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Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke.

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