"Scenes from the Life of Saint Francis of Assisi", single illuminated leaf from a dispersed "Legenda aurea"manuscript, 1994.516, ca. 1320–42, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
This rich illumination depicts four scenes from the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, as articulated in The Golden Legend by Jacobus da Varagine. The saint is portrayed in the characteristic garb of the Franciscan order, nimbed, and with his stigmata perfectly visible on both of his hands and feet. In the upper left scene, St. Francis is seen addressing a group of animals; the scene in the upper right, on the other hand, depicts the saint on his deathbed. At the bottom left, a woman is revived by Francis so that she can make her final confession; at the bottom right, the saint frees an imprisoned debtor.
The legend of Saint Francis originally comprised five leaves, two of which are currently lost. The original manuscript, already dispersed by the seventeenth century, is now divided among the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York, and the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley.