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FEAST - A Saint for the Day (August 11): St. Clare of Assisi


John Dillon <[log in to unmask]>


medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture <[log in to unmask]>


Thu, 11 Aug 2016 21:20:06 +0000





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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

An early disciple of St. Francis of Assisi and founder of the order that after her death became known as the (Poor) Clares, Clare of Assisi (d. 1253) needs no introduction to this list.  Today is her _dies natalis_ and her current feast day in the Roman Catholic Church and in churches of the Anglican Communion.  Prior to the revisions promulgated in 1969 her feast in the general Roman Calendar fell on 12. August, the date authorized at her canonization in 1255.

By way of supplement to Gordon Plumb's links, posted earlier today, to photographs of images in glass of Clare of Assisi, herewith some links to other period-pertinent images of her:

a) as depicted (at far right, flanking Jesus' feet; at left, St. Francis of Assisi; at far left, Bl. Benedicta of Assisi) on the lower crossbar of the later thirteenth-century Cross of Abbess Benedicta (probably betw. 1255 and ca. 1265) in the basilica di Santa Chiara in Assisi:


NB: The inscriptions are later additions (fourteenth-century?). 

b) as depicted (displaying the Eucharist in a ciborium to Muslim soldiers of Frederick II attacking the convent of San Damiano in Assisi) by Guido da Siena -- the  customary attribution -- in a panel of a pair of later  thirteenth-century reliquary shutters (ca. 1260; the so-called Diptych of St. Clare) in the Pinacoteca nazionale in Siena:


The work as a whole (Clare in the panel at lower left):


c) as depicted in the lower margin of two of five leaves of the later thirteenth-century Fieschi Hours placing her there (betw. 1276 and 1300; Baltimore, Walters Art Museum, Ms. W.45, fols. 89v, 191r; images reasonably expandable):

1) fol. 89v: flanked by two Poor Clares in prayer:


2) fol. 191r: at far right, after Sts. Francis of Assisi and Elizabeth of Hungary:


d) as depicted (at right; at left, St. Francis of Assisi) by Giotto di Bondone in a later thirteenth-century fresco (betw. 1279 and 1300) in the upper church of the basilica di San Francesco in Assisi:


e) as depicted (full-length and with scenes from her Vita by Bl. Thomas of Celano) in a late thirteenth-century painted dossal (ca. 1283) in the basilica di Santa Chiara in Assisi:


Detail view:


f) as depicted by Simone Martini in an earlier fourteenth-century fresco (ca. 1312-1320) in the lower church of the basilica di San Francesco in Assisi:


g) as depicted (at left; at right, St. Elizabeth of Hungary) by Simone Martini in an earlier fourteenth-century fresco (1317) on the entrance to the cappella di San Martino in the lower church of the basilica di San Francesco in Assisi:


h) as depicted by Giotto di Bondone in an earlier fourteenth-century fresco (ca. 1325) in the cappella Bardi in Florence's basilica di Santa  Croce:


j) as depicted in a corner of a perhaps mid-fourteenth-century portolan chart (ca. 1334-1366; Lyon, Bibliothèque municipale, carte 6):


k) as portrayed in high relief (at left; at right, St. Elizabeth of Hungary) on the probably mid-fourteenth-century west portal (1340s) of the Minoritenkirche in Vienna:


l) as depicted (at right; at left, St. Francis of Assisi) by Jaume Ferrer Bassa in a mid-fourteenth-century fresco (betw. 1343 and 1348) in the capella di Sant Miquel of the Reial Monestir de Pedralbes in Barcelona:


m) as depicted (receiving from Innocent IV his Rule for her order) by Sebald Weinschröter and assistants in a panel of a later fourteenth-century altarpiece for the convent church of the Poor Clares in Nürnberg and now in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in the same city:


n) as depicted by Andrea Vanni in a later fourteenth-century panel  painting (ca. 1360-1370) in the Pomona College Museum of Art in Claremont (CA):


o) as depicted in three panels from a dismembered later fourteenth-century altarpiece of Franconian origin (ca. 1360-1370) illustrating scenes from her life:

1) receiving the palm from the bishop of Assisi (at left, St. Francis of Assisi), now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York:


2) hearing the voice of Christ in the ciborium:


3) death on earth and coronation in Heaven, now in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg:


p) as depicted in a later fourteenth-century Roman missal (ca. 1370) of north Italian origin (Avignon, Bibliothèque-Médiathèque Municipale  Ceccano, ms. 136, fol. 262v):


q) as depicted (at right, leading the sisters in prayer) in a late fourteenth-century fresco (ca. 1380-1400) in the oratorio di Santa Chiara in the convento di San Damiano in Assisi:


r) as depicted (at left; at right, bp. St. Erhard) in a fifteenth-century panel painting, from a dismembered triptych (?originally from Regensburg), in the Muzeum Okręgowe w Nowym Sączu / Nowy Sącz District Museum in -- but you have already guessed this -- Nowy Sącz:


s) as depicted (on her deathbed) by the Master of Heiligenkreuz in an early fifteenth-century panel painting (ca. 1400-1410) in the National Gallery in Washington:


t) as depicted (receiving, with two sisters, from Urban IV, with two cardinals, his revised Rule for the Poor Clares) at the beginning of an early fifteenth-century copy of Urban's bull _Beata Clara virtute  clarens et nomine_ translated into Catalan (Barcelona, Biblioteca de Catalunya, ms. 3723, fol. 1v):


u) as depicted (at right; at left, St. James major) by the Master of Flémalle (perh. Robert Campin and/or workshop) in an earlier fifteenth-century panel painting (ca. 1430) on the backside of  his altarpiece of the Betrothal of the Virgin in the Museo del Prado in Madrid:


v) as depicted by the Master of the Loeser Madonna in an earlier  fifteenth-century panel painting (ca. 1430; from a dismembered altarpiece) in the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia in Athens (GA):


w) as depicted (at right; at left, St. Anthony of Padua) by Giovanni Boccati in a mid-fifteenth-century panel painting (ca. 1445-1448 or ca. 1450-1460) in the Pinacoteca Vaticana:


x) as depicted by Giovanni di Paolo in three mid-fifteenth-century panel paintings:

1) receiving the habit from St. Francis of Assisi (ca. 1455; in the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin):

in the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin):

2) saving people from shipwreck in a stormy sea (ca. 1455; in the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin):


3) saving a child mauled by a wolf (ca. 1455-1460; in the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston):


y) as depicted in a mid-fifteenth-century fresco (1456) in an edicule on the exterior of the cattedrale di San Michele Arcangelo in Albenga:


z) as depicted (at lower right, flanking the Madonna della Misericordia; at lower left, St. Francis of Assisi) by Niccolò Alunno / Nicolò di  Liberatore on a later fifteenth-century processional banner (1462) whose paintings, transferred to canvas, are now in Assisi's Museo comunale in the Palazzo Vallemani:


aa) as depicted (receiving the palm from the bishop of Assisi) by the Master of the Bamberg St. Clare Altar in a panel of that later fifteenth-century altarpiece (ca. 1465-1475) in the Staatsgalerie in Bamberg:


bb) as depicted by Piero della Francesca in a predella panel of his later fifteenth-century Perugia Altarpiece (ca. 1468-1470; Altarpiece of St. Anthony of Padua) in the Galleria nazionale dell'Umbria in Perugia:


After restoration in 1993:


Detail view (Clare):


cc) as depicted (at left; at right; St. Francis of Assisi) by Niccolò  Alunno / Nicolò di Liberatore in a detail of his later fifteenth-century  _Gonfalone della peste_ ("Plague Banner"; ca. 1470) in the Priesterhaus in Kevelaer:


dd) as depicted by Francesco del Cossa in a later fifteenth-century panel painting (ca. 1470-1472) in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, on deposit with the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya in Barcelona:


ee) as depicted (upper register at center, betw. Bl. John Duns Scotus and St. Louis of Toulouse) by Carlo Crivelli in a later fifteenth-century panel painting (1471?; from his now dismembered  Montefiore altarpiece) in the Polo Museale di San Francesco at  Montefiore dell'Aso (AP) in the Marche:


Detail views:



ff) as depicted (upper register at far right; from left, the other saints are James major, Anthony of Egypt, and Agnes of Rome) by Hans Memling on the outer side of a wing of his later fifteenth-century St. John's Altarpiece (commissioned, 1474; signed and dated, 1479) in the Memlingmuseum in the Sint-Janshospitaal in Bruges:


A larger view of the two wings (seen through a digitally superimposed frame):


gg) as depicted a later fifteenth-century Roman breviary (betw. 1482 and 1500; Clermont-Ferrand, Bibliothèque du patrimoine, ms. 69, fol. 513r):



hh) as depicted (at right; at left, St. Edmund king and martyr) on the seemingly late fifteenth-century rood screen (ca. 1490) in the Church of St John the Baptist's Head in Trimingham (Norfolk):


ii) as depicted (at left, holding up the Eucharist before Muslim soldiers of Frederick II) in a late fifteenth-century illumination (ca.  1490-1494) in the Sforza Hours (London, BL, Add MS 34294, vol. 3, fol.  210v):


jj) as depicted in a late fifteenth-century book of hours and prayer book of southern Netherlandish origin (ca. 1490-1500; Den Haag, KB, ms. 134 C 47, fol. 91r):


kk) as depicted (left margin at top) in a hand-colored woodcut in the Beloit College copy of Hartmann Schedel's late fifteenth-century _Weltchronik_ (_Nuremberg Chronicle_; 1493) at fol. CCXr:


ll) as depicted in the late fifteenth- or early sixteenth-century Hours of Bonaparte Ghislieri (London, BL, Yates Thompson MS 29, fol. 62r):


mm) as depicted (at left; at right, St. Elizabeth of Hungary) by Tiberio  d'Assisi in an early sixteenth-century fresco (1506) in the cappella delle Rose of the basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli at Assisi:


Detail view:


nn) as depicted (at far right) by Tiberio d'Assisi in an early sixteenth-century panel painting of the Crucifixion with Saints (1506) in the Museo del Tesoro della basilica di San Francesco in Assisi:


oo) as depicted (at right, flanking the BVM and Christ Child; at left, St. Francis of Assisi) by Cima da Conegliano in an early sixteenth-century panel painting (ca. 1510) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York:


pp) as depicted in an early sixteenth-century miscellany formerly in the library of the Franciscans in Troyes (1516; Paris, Bibliothèque  Mazarine, ms. 996, fol. 145v):


qq) as depicted by Tiberio d'Assisi in two earlier sixteenth-century frescoes (1517, 1522) at the cappella di San Girolamo in the convento di San Damiano in Assisi:

1) at right, flanking the BVM and Christ Child; at left, St. Francis of Assisi and a donor:



2) at far left, with Sts. Francis of Assisi, Sebastian, and Roch:


Detail view (Clare, Francis):


rr) as depicted (at right; at left, St. Jodocus) in an earlier sixteenth-century glass roundel (ca. 1520-1530) of southern Netherlandish origin in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York:



John Dillon


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