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Santa Maria degli Angeli: Cappella del Transito

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Cappella della Portiuncula     Portiuncula Indulgence     Portiuncula Altarpiece 

Cappella del Transito            Cappella delle Rose

This chapel to the right of the presbytery of Santa Maria degli Angeli incorporates part of an earlier chapel (13th century) that was built on the site of the infirmary of the Portiuncula.  The rectangular chapel has a semi-hexagonal interior.

St Francis died in the infirmary in 1226, and a brother saw his soul rising to heaven on a small white cloud.  (The fresco (ca. 1300) illustrated here is in the upper church of San Francesco.)  Many of those who then flocked to the Portiuncula “witnessed a new miracle” when they saw on his body the stigmata that he had hidden during the last two years of his life.


St Francis (ca. 1490)

This enamelled terracotta figure by Andrea della Robbia  is now in a niche above the altar.  Its original location is unknown; it might have come from one of the oratories on the site that was demolished when the current church was built.

Frescoes of early Franciscans (ca. 1514)


Giorgio Vasari attributed these frescoes to Giovanni di Pietro, lo Spagna.  Since his source was Dono Doni (see below), who had known lo Spagna, the attribution is secure. The frescoes depict:

  1. Brothers Juniper, Philip, Morico and Bernard, four of St Francis early companions, with SS Otto and Adjutus, two of the five Franciscans protomartyrs  (on the far left);

  2. SS Antony of Padua and Bonaventure with the protomartyr St Berard (on the left);

  3. the protomartyr St Peter with SS Louis of Toulouse and Bernardino of Siena (on the right); and

  4. the protomartyr St Accursius with another five of St Francis early companions, Sylvester, Rufino, Masseo, Leo and Giles (on the far right). 

Scenes from the Life of St Francis (1541)

Giorgio Vasari considered these documented frescoes on the exterior wall to be the best works by Dono Doni.  They may have been damaged in the earthquake of 1832 and were subsequently over-painted (see below).

Death of St Francis (1886-7)

This fresco by Domenico Bruschi is on the exterior wall of the chapel.  [Another fresco by Bruschi of the recognition of the stigmata?]

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