San Martino Chapel

San Martino Chapel
Detail of the Investiture of St. Martin as a Knight.

San Martino Chapel (Italian: Cappella di san Martino) is a chapel in the Lower Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi, Umbria, central Italy. Commissioned and funded by Cardinal Gentile Partino da Montefiore, it features a cycle of frescoes by Simone Martini (1313–1318).

The frescoes are neither dated nor signed, but the art historian have generally agreed in identifying Martini as the author for styilistical and historical reasons.


Gentile Partino da Montefiore was the Cardinal of the Basilica of Santi Silvestro e Martino ai Monti in Rome. A document dating to March 1312 testifies the funding by the Cardinal of 600 golden florins for the construction and fresco decoration of a chapel in the Lower Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi. In the Spring of the same year the Cardinal is known to have been in Siena, while transferring the papal treasure to Avignon. Here he likely found an agreement with Simone Martini to paint the chapel. In the following October, the cardinal died at Lucca, without arriving in Avignon.

Martini worked in the chapel in at least three phases. He started the works in 1312-1313, leaving the unfinished Maestà of the Palazzo Pubblico of Siena which he was working to. In this first period he designed the stained glasses and perhaps began the frescoes. He returned to Siena around 1314 to finish the Maestà; he was back to Assisi in June 1315, starting the second decoration phase. In 1317 he was called to Naples by King Robert I of Anjou, but returned to Umbria soon to complete (and, in some cases, rework) the saints under the entrance arch. The work were finished around 1318.


The side chapels show ten frescoes on the life of St. Martin, bishop of Tours. The scenes include:

  • St. Martin Sharing the Mantle with a Poor
  • Apparition of Christ and Angels in St. Martin's Dream
  • Investure of St. Martin as Knight
  • Renounce of St. Martin to the Weapons
  • Visit to the Emperor with Burning Throne
  • Resurrection of a Youth
  • Miraculous Mess
  • The Dream of St. Ambrose
  • Death of St. Martin
  • Funerals of St. Martin

Above the entrance arch is the dedication from Cardinal da Montefiore to St. Martin while the windows are decorated with busts of Saint Knights (left), Saint Bishops or Popes (center) and Saint Hermits or Founders of Religious Orders (right). The eight saints under the entrance arch are St. Catherine of Alexandria (lower right), St. Antony of Padua and St. Francis (upper right), St. Claire and St. Elizabeth of Hungary (lower left), St. Louis of France and S.t Louis of Toulouse (upper left). The three latter saints replaced, respectively, the previous St. Ursula, St. Nicholas of Bari and St. Antony of Padua, after Martini had returned from the Kingdom of Naples, as a homage to the family saints of the ruling Capetian House of Anjou.

The emperor who looks sharply at St. Martin in the Renounce, accusing him of cowardice, is likely identifiable with Frederick II, due to the black eagle in his camp. As a reply to the accuse, St. Martin is portrayed while marching towards the enemy (symbolized by insignia with lions on red background) with a simple cross in his hands.


  • Pierini, Marco (2002). Simone Martini. Milan: Silvana Editore. 
  • de Castris, Pierluigi Leone (2003). Simone Martini. Milan: Federico Motta Editore. 

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • San Martino, Venice — San Martino di Venezia is a church in the sestiere of Castello of Venice.The church now stands near the Arsenale, and is officiated by a military chaplain. Initially founded in the 10th century, from 1546 1610, it was rebuilt based on a plan by… …   Wikipedia

  • San Miguel das Negradas — San Miguel de As Negradas (O Vicedo) is one of the parishes of the municipality of O Vicedo in Galicia.San Miguel de As Negradas is on the north west coast of the province of Lugo, on the border with the municipality of Mañón in the province of A …   Wikipedia

  • San Giorgio a Cremano — Infobox CityIT official name = Comune di San Giorgio a Cremano img coa = San Giorgio a Cremano Stemma.png img coa small = image caption = region = RegioneIT|sigla=CAM province = ProvinciaIT (short form)|sigla=NA (NA) mayor = Domenico Giorgiano… …   Wikipedia

  • San Miniato — Infobox CityIT img coa = SanMiniato Stemma.gif official name = Comune di San Miniato name = San Miniato mapx= 43.68 mapy=10.85 region = Tuscany province = Pisa (PI) elevation m = 140 area total km2 = 102 population as of = population total =… …   Wikipedia

  • San Carlo ai Catinari — is an early Baroque style church in Rome. The attribute ai Catinari refers to the presence, at the time of its construction, of many dishmaker shops in the same street of the church. The church was commissioned by the Order of the Barnabites and… …   Wikipedia

  • San Carlo al Corso — Sant Ambrogio e Carlo al Corso (usually known simply as San Carlo al Corso ) is a basilica church in Rome, facing the central Via del Corso. It is dedicated to Saint Ambrose of Milan and Saint Charles Borromeo, also native of that city. It is one …   Wikipedia

  • San Nicola da Tolentino agli Orti Sallustiani — Not be confused with the well known church of San Nicolò da Tolentino in Venice, the Basilica de San Nicola in the town of Tolentino in the province of Macerata, or the decorated baroque Oratorio di San Nicola da Tolentino (Oratory of San Nicola… …   Wikipedia

  • San Michele Maggiore — The Basilica of San Michele Maggiore is a church of Pavia, one of the most striking example of Lombard Romanesque style. It dates from the 11th and 12th centuries.HistoryA first church devoted to St. Michael Archangel was built on the location of …   Wikipedia

  • San Francesco di Paola ai Monti — HistoryIt was built 1645 50 with funds given by Olimpia Aldobrandini Pamphili, who (like St Francis) had roots in Calabria. It was designed by Gioan Pietro Morandi, given to the Minim Friars, and became the national church of the Calabrians. The… …   Wikipedia

  • Montefiore chapel, San Francesco, Assisi — (c. 1328)    The Montefiore Chapel, located in the Lower Church of San Francesco in Assisi, was executed for the Franciscan Cardinal Gentile Partino da Montefiore whose titular church was San Martino ai Monti, Rome. He had close ties to the House …   Dictionary of Renaissance art

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”