Jan van Eyck, ‘Saint Francis of Assisi Receiving the Stigmata’, 1430-1432, Philadelphia Museum of Art

During a forty-day fast in the wilderness, Francis of Assisi had a vision in which he received the wounds of the crucified Christ, who here appears held aloft by a seraph. Although Jan van Eyck positioned the scene in the rocky mountain of the legend, in a bravura display of his microscopic technique, he included a bustling Netherlandish city in the distance. This is one of two nearly identical versions of the picture (the other being in the Galleria Sabauda, Turin). One of them or a copy was owned by the painter Joan Reixac of Valencia (see Philadelphia Museum of Art, inv. 203), where it had a profound effect on local artists. Carl Brandon Strehlke, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2014, p. 95.

John G. Johnson Collection, 1917

About Jan van Eyck

The most famous of the van Eyck family of painters, Jan van Eyck brought a heightened degree of realism to the traditional themes and figures of late Medieval art. Among the earliest Dutch painters to use oil paint, the van Eycks developed glazing and wet-on-wet techniques that gave their pictures a greater sense of light and depth. The family is best known for creating the Ghent Altarpiece. Although unusual for the period, van Eyck signed his pictures, including his personal motto Als ich kan (As well as I can).

Dutch, 1390-1441, Maaseik, Belgium, based in Bruges, Belgium