15. Jacopo Chimenti, called Jacopo da Empoli

Florence circa 1554 – 1640 Florence

A Monk Kneeling, in Profile to the Left: Saint Francis, circa 1590

With broad, firm strokes, Jacopo da Empoli made this study for the figure of St Francis in his Assumption, paint­ed in about 1590 (Convento dei Servi, Florence). The art­ist has lent the character a remarkable feeling of piety. As he kneels humbly, the saint’s hands are joined in prayer. This gesture, and the almost palpable tension of his inter­twined fingers, express the figure’s concentrated fervour. He raises his eyes to the heavens where the Virgin stands in triumph in the painting. The upward movement of the composition, and the importance given to the representa­tion of St Francis are both typical features of the art of the Counter-Reformation to which Empoli subscribed.