This painting is inspired by a Franciscan legend that gained currency in the seventeenth century. In 1449 Pope Nicholas V and a small retinue visited the tomb of Saint Francis in the monastery of Assisi. After conducting a torchlight search of the darkened crypt, the flickering light suddenly fell on the body of Saint Francis. Nicolas V fell to his knees before the miraculously preserved body. Antonio Montúfar brilliantly contrasts the immobile body of the saint with the expressiveness of his face. The lavish attire of the donors suggests that they were members of Peruvian nobility.
Ilona Katzew, 2008