Around 1504, Raphael was commissioned by the Franciscan nuns of Perugia to paint an altarpiece for the Church of St. Anthony of Padua. St. Francis of Assisi and St. Anthony of Padua (DPG243, hanging nearby) formed the end sections of the predella of the Colonna altarpiece, which has been dispersed and the main panels of which are now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York. The paintings were sold to Queen Christina of Sweden in Rome in 1663; in 1721 they were acquired by the Duc d’Orléans and brought to England with the remainder of his collection in 1798.
The two saints represent the Foundation of the Order and the Patron of the church. Later damage has obliterated the stigmata of St. Francis, but the wound in his side remains.
Saint Francis is identified by the wound in his side (the absence of the stigmata in his hands and feet is presumably the result of wear). With DPG243, this is one of the two outer panels from the predella of the 'Colonna altarpiece' painted by Raphael, probably c.1502, for the Franciscan nuns of Saint Anthony of Padua in Perugia. The main part of the altarpiece, together with one predella panel, is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The other predella panels are in the National Gallery London and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.