Friday, March 10, 2017

San Gabriel Cholula, two cloister frescoes

In our previous post on the open chapel mural at Cuernavaca, we looked at a combined portrayal of two key scenes from the life of St. Francis: his presentation of the primitive Franciscan Rule to the reformist Pope Innocent lll, and his vision of Christ Crucified telling him to rebuild the ruined chapel of St. Damian, near Assisi.
cloister image by Patrick Kavanaugh
These two scenes are also depicted, in this case separately, in the lower cloister of the great Franciscan monastery complex at San Gabriel Cholula.
In the first scene, a large mural set in a wild landscape of clouds and swaying grasses, Francis is again shown fashionably dressed as a secular young noble. He contemplates the Crucifixion in awe and hears the words of Christ on the cross, “Go, Francis and repair my church,” inscribed in Latin on a banderole. 
The sepia toned monochrome of the mural is only relieved by the red blood of Christ’s wounds.
The second panel, also in warm monochrome, depicts the barefoot Francis kneeling to present the Rule of his new Order to the Pope Innocent lll seated on a sumptuous throne flanked by cardinals. 
   This is a less crowded composition than that at Cuernavaca, with only a single friar accompanying Francis. The Pope gestures in benediction and there is no inscription of approval.
Although set in a palace, flowers bloom in front of the saint.
text © 2017 Richard D. Perry. color images courtesy of Robert Jackson

1 comment:

  1. Lovely photos. I have visited San Gabriel frequently and the photos do justice to the place. Keep the good works!