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Fast Talk Theology. Saint Francis in the Desert: Reading a Masterwork of Renaissance Art

Jan 8, 2023 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am


with Br. Brill Short, OFM, Ph.D.
We may be used to reading books about Saint Francis, or perhaps blogs and Wiki pages. But there is another rich source of materials about the Little Poor Man of Assisi in the art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. In this lecture we will explore the interpretation of Francis in the art of late 15th century Italy, focusing on Giovanni Bellini’s great painting of “Saint Francis in the Desert,” sometimes called “Saint Francis in Ecstasy.” We will learn about the meticulous research carried out by the conservators at the Metropolitan Museum of New York during their work of restoring this great painting from the Frick Collection. Brother Bill Short will share his own experience of behind-the-scenes meetings with the Met curators and the Frick staff responsible for displaying the work. We will see its earlier home in the Living Hall of the Frick mansion on Fifth Avenue and now in its temporary quarters at the Frick Madison, where this masterpiece occupies a room of its own. Explore the rich symbolism used by Bellini in portraying Francis of Assisi sharing in the Transfiguration of Christ, surrounded by evocations of Moses and Elijah on Mount Tabor.

No fee and no registration required. Program will be in the Francis Room.


Jan 8, 2023
9:00 am - 10:30 am
Event Category:


Franciscan Renewal Center
(480) 948-7460
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Franciscan Renewal Center
5802 E Lincoln Dr
Scottsdale, AZ United States
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(480) 948-7460
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