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Madonna and Child with Two Angels, St. Francis and St. Louis of Toulouse

Paolo di Giovanni Fei1375/1380

High Museum of Art

High Museum of Art

In this altarpiece that may have originally hung in a Franciscan chapel, the Christ child’s gesture invites us to draw near, into the realm of angels. The two saints kneeling in the foreground are St. Francis of Assisi on the left—identifiable by his humble burlap robe and his stigmata, the marks on his hands resembling the wounds of the crucified Christ—and St. Louis of Toulouse on the right, who became a Franciscan monk after renouncing his right to the French throne, an act symbolized by the cast off crown at his feet.

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