San Francesco, Assisi - Lower Church

South Transept

  The south transept was decorated around 1320-30. The frescos are attributed to Pietro Lorenzetti, probably with assistants and possibly with his brother Ambrogio. The subject of the paintings is the Passion of Christ. The chapel at the head of the transept is that of John the Baptist. 

  The six panels in the vault start the story, with the first two events - the entry into Jerusalem and the last Supper - in the central panels.

Washing of the feet

Arrest of Christ


The Road to Calvary

 The Crucifixion is the largest image, and is regarded as the finest. The damage was done when the Altar of the Reliquary, placed here in the sixteenth century, was removed in 1870. 

The images on the south wall, surrounding the entrance to the chapel of John the Baptist, show post crucifixion events.



Descent into Limbo


Other Frescos
The Madonna dei Tramonti (Sunset Madonna) by Lorenzetti is below the crucifixion, and originally formed a retable or dossal for an altar dedicated to John the Evangelist. John looks on from the right. A popular narrative attached to this picture is that the Christ child is asking his mother a question, and the Madonna's gesture shows that the answer is - St. Francis. The fresco on the right below is on the back wall of the chapel; four saints look out over a rather comfortable looking bench. 

The 'Sunset Madonna'.

St Nicholas, St Catherine of Alexandria, St Clare and St. Thecla

These two frescoes are above the stairs on the west wall. Including the stigmatisation of St Francis here ties it in with the  Crucifixion on the opposite wall. 
  The other fresco shows the suicide of Judas. 


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