St. Francis In The Desert, painted by Giovanni Bellini during the Venetian Renaissance, portrays St. Francis of Assisi with the marks of Jesus’s crucifixion on his hands as he looks upon the sky. The painting is also known as St. Francis in Ecstasy due to depicting the moment he received the stigmata, marking his connection with God. This painting is considered as one of the Frick Collection’s most renowned works of art, showcasing the skills of Venetian Renaissance painting.
The painting was completed around 1480 and was initially offered to the National Gallery in London. However, they declined to purchase it. Mrs. Bernard Berenson once described it as “the most beautiful Bellini in existence.” St. Francis In The Desert serves as a compendium of exquisitely researched and moving evocation of the spiritual life and legacy of St. Francis of Assisi. Bellini’s attention to detail in portraying St. Francis and the surrounding environment is remarkable.