Key to Umbria: Assisi

San Francesco: Lower Church

Cappella di Sant’ Antonio da Padova

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San Francesco:  Main Page;  

History:   in the Period 1228-53;   in the Period 1253-1300;   in the 14th Century;

Exterior;    Crypt;   Sacro Convento

Upper Church: Interior;   Stained Glass Windows

Lower Church: Interior;    Frescoes in the Transepts;  

Frescoes in the Apse and Crossing Vaults;      Altars in the Transept;

Monument of Emperor of Constantinople

Chapels: Chronology and Smaller Chapels;

San Nicolò;   Santa Maria Maddalena;   Sant’ Antonio da Padova;   San Ludovico  

Santa Caterina;   Sant’ Antonio Abate;   San Martino;   San Stanislao;   San Giovanni Battista

A document of 1300 refers to an Altare di Sant’ Antonio, which was probably here or in the adjacent chapel to the right (see below).  A worn inscription (14th century) to the left of the window, below the arms of the Lelli family, recorded that the chapel belonged to Lello di Salimbene.    

The chapel passed to Guidantonio da Montefeltro in 1436, and was still owned by the Lords of Urbino until the death of Francesco Maria II della Rovere, the last Duke of Urbino, in 1631.  His granddaughter had married Ferdinando II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1634, and the chapel thus passed to the Medici.  They do not, however, seem to have paid it any attention.

The modern sculpture on the altar, which is by Sandro da Verscio, depicts the baby Jesus appearing to St Antony of Padua.

An inscription records that the guardian, Fr Ignazio Vanzini, restored the chapel in 1610. 

It also contains the floor tomb of Bishop Tegrimo Tegrimi of Assisi (1630-41).

Stained Glass (early 14th century)


The rose in the window of the chapel, which is attributed to Giovanni di Bonino, contains busts of Franciscan saints.  These include St Louis of Toulouse, who appears at the top left of the inner circle.  A number of features of his depiction help to date the work:

  1. he is dressed as a bishop, so it must post-date his episcopal consecration in December, 1296; and

  2. he is identified simply as “F. Lodovic[us]” (Brother Louis) and depicted without a halo, which suggests that it was commissioned before his canonisation in 1317.

(The historical context is set out in the page on San Francesco in the 14th century)

The stained glass in the windows below, which seems to be by a different master, contain scenes from the life of St Antony.  For example, in this scene (bottom right), St Francis miraculously appears to Brother Monaldo as St Antony preaches at the Chapter of Arles.

Scenes from the life of St Antony of Padua (1610)

Fr Ignazio Vanzini commissioned these frescoes from Cesare Sermei, as part of the restoration of the chapel mentioned above.  The scenes depicting include this one on the right wall, in which a starving mule chooses to kneel before the Eucharist rather than to eat the food set out for him nearby.  This miracle convinced the heretic who owned the mule to become an orthodox Catholic.

Return to the page on Chapels in the Lower Church.

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