Francis of Assisi: A Saint for All Seasons, by Melanie McDonagh

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The director of the National Gallery speaks to Melanie McDonagh about their new exhibition.

By Melanie McDonagh, Catholic Herald, April 12, 2023

It’s almost 800 years since St Francis of Assisi died at the age of 44, but the man who preached to the birds and made friends with the wolf remains perhaps the most universally appealing Catholic saint. Next month a show opens at the National Gallery in London which traces his life and legend and legacy in art all the way through those eight centuries to our own day – it opens with Anthony Gormley’s starkly simple figure in lead and fibreglass and includes some of the very earliest depictions. There will be Franciscan friars from Assisi and from London and Oxford at the launch, to prove that the legacy is living and human as well as artistic.

And, as befits the saint who loved the poor, it will be free. …

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